Six health care organizations from Oregon are coming together to build three housing complexes.
There’s growing recognition nationally that in order to help people who are sick and homeless, they need somewhere to live. Legacy Health President George Brown said that was why his organization donated to the new affordable housing.
“It’s hard to be healthy if you don’t have a roof over your head. It’s hard to recover when you’re sick if you don’t have a bed to rest in,” Brown said.
Legacy, CareOregon, Adventist, Kaiser, OHSU and Providence together have donated more than $21 million dollars to build nearly 400 housing units in Portland.
Central City Concern will manage the units. They’ll include a medical facility for people with mental illnesses or drug addiction and hospice care.
Floyd Pittman says he was homeless and addicted to crack for 24 years, until Central City Concern found him somewhere to live.
“The housing just gave me a sense of safety,” Pittman said. “And also, I can’t talk about just how important it was, even if you had to wear the same clothes, to at least take a shower. To actually get some rest. Not just turning over on the street, but actually getting some rest. Plus I had a key. And that was my golden ticket. I had a key to my own place.”
Pittman says he went through treatment 33 times, but it wasn’t until he had somewhere to live that he could get clean.
Oregon’s hospitals have seen record profits recently. That’s because the Affordable Care Act means most patients now have health insurance to pay their bills.