Oregon Harbor of Hope proposes to use an insulated fabric structure to house the new navigation center, which will be used to refer homeless clients to appropriate services.

Oregon Harbor of Hope proposes to use an insulated fabric structure to house the new navigation center, which will be used to refer homeless clients to appropriate services.

Courtesy of Oregon Harbor of Hope

The homeless navigation center and shelter in the Pearl District announced last week is backed by an impressive list of Portland-area movers and shakers. But the project must still jump through several hoops before it can open near the west end of the Broadway Bridge — and similar projects have stumbled in the past.

During the April 10 press conference where the project was unveiled, Columbia Sportswear executive Tim Boyle said he would start it by donating $1.5 million of his own money to Oregon Harbor of Hope, a nonprofit organization founded by developer Homer Williams. Also speaking in support were Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi and David Bangsberg, the founding dean of the joint Oregon Health & Science University-Portland State University School of Public Health.

Before the project can be completed, the organization must negotiate a lease for the property, according to Harbor of Hope director Don Mazziotti. The site is owned by Prosper Portland, the city’s economic development and urban renewal agency formerly known as the Portland Development Commission. The nearly two-acre parcel was acquired in 1987 as part of the agency’s 31-acre purchase of Union Station.

Mazziotti says his organization is hopeful that Prosper Portland’s board of directors will approve a low-cost, multi-year lease in the near future. It could be modeled after the current lease for an agency-owned property in Kenton, where a tiny-house village for women is located and overseen by Catholic Charities.

Read the full article at The Portland Tribune