A Message from Clackamas County on Transitional Shelter Communities

Planning continues for the temporary, transitional shelter community pilot project on a 1.5-acre site near the corner of 115th Avenue and Jennifer Street.

Here’s a brief update on where we are and where we’re going. If you have questions, suggestions or comments, please email Board of County Commissioners Sr. Policy Advisor Emily Klepper or call 503-742-5933.

Land Use Approval – The application for a conditional use permit for the proposed of the proposed Veterans Village will be the focus of a hearing before the Land Use Hearings Officer at 9:30 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Development Services Building Auditorium, 150 Beavercreek Rd., Oregon City. The hearing is open to the public to listen and/or to provide testimony. The staff report for the hearing is available online.

County Planning staff is recommending approval of the application with a variety of conditions, which are delineated in the report.

County declares housing emergency – At a policy session Nov. 8, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to approve a declaration of emergency related to the homeless population in Clackamas County.

The purpose of this declaration, which will be in effect for six months, is to give staff the authority to move quickly to provide warming shelters for our 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 does not have an impact on the zoning timetable or approval process for the temporary, transitional Veterans Village proposed for the 1.5-acre site near the corner of Jennifer St. and 115th Avenue. The county remains committed to ensuring that this project is fully vetted and reviewed, and in conformity with local zoning regulations and building codes.

If you’d like to learn more about the discussion by the Board of County Commissioners, go to our policy session webpage.

Sign up for volunteer opportunities to help the county’s homeless population

Housing Affordability panels – The County Commissioners have begun holding panel discussions to better understand the issue of housing affordability. The first meeting was held Sept. 20 (audio), followed by an Oct. 25 meeting (audio and packet). The next meeting, which is open to the public to listen to the discussion but is not open for public testimony, is set for 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 6. These discussions offer information about current housing issues in our region, coalition building and partnerships, impacts and other strategic considerations.

Community Operations – The site will include 15 to 30 sleeping pods and community restrooms, showers, cooking and eating facilities, and a communal room.

Community Members – Residents of this transitional community will be adult military veterans from Clackamas County who are homeless. They will be selected through referrals and screenings by county staff, veterans and social service agencies and support organizations.

The residents will be provided with health, counseling and other supportive services through the county, non-profits and other organizations to help them transition from this community to more permanent housing.

Health, Safety and Mobility – County staff conducted a health and safety impact review of the site. Security and safety are top priorities for the county, not just for the residents, but also associated staff and the general community.

While there is no direct access to public transportation from the site, plans are underway to provide a shuttle or other form of transportation to bus stops so these veterans can access training, counseling, shopping, medical facilities and other routine needs.

Contact us – Please contact Board of County Commissioners Sr. Policy Advisor Emily Klepper or call 503-742-5933 if you would like to help with this project, have questions or concerns, or would like additional information.

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