Services Departments Government

From: Tim Heider, Public Affairs Manager, 503-742-5911

11-08-17

Clackamas County

Media and Interested Parties

Clackamas County declares emergency to provide shelter for homeless residents

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners approved an emergency declaration Nov. 8 to help ensure homeless people have safe, warm and habitable shelter this winter.

The declaration will be in effect for six months. It will give staff the authority to move quickly to provide warming shelters for homeless residents this winter. In this case, the increasing numbers of homeless county residents, their need for safe and warm shelter, and the current lack of adequate temporary or emergency homeless shelters constitutes an emergency.

The declaration states that the need for a state of emergency results from “National, state and local economic and demographic factors contributing to an ever increasing population of individuals, families and children without adequate, safe, secure, suitable and healthy shelter…who face exposure to the elements and potential loss of property and life.”

The state of emergency allows the county to take the following actions in support of providing shelter for homeless people:

County Health and Human Services Director Richard Swift said the county has a need to provide warming shelters for approximately 1,000 people. In addition to working with shelters available in the past, he said, this year, “We will also be exploring options for a contingency warming shelter at the county fairgrounds, in empty buildings in the community and through motel vouchers.”

The declaration will not have an impact on the zoning timetable or approval process for the temporary, transitional Veterans Village that Clackamas County is proposing. The county remains committed to ensuring that that project for up to 30 homeless veterans is fully vetted and reviewed, and in conformity with local zoning regulations and building codes.

Because of the emergency declaration, volunteers will be needed to serve in a variety of capacities. Volunteers can sign up to receive more information about opportunities online.

Find out more about the emergency declaration.

For more information, members of the media may contact Public Affairs Manager Tim Heider at theider@clackamas.us or 503-742-5911.

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