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Priority goes to homeless 60 and older or with underlying health conditions; enrollment is by phone.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Megan Cohen, Beaverton community services coordinator, makes one of the beds at the city shelter at the Beaverton Community Center. Starting today, March 30, the shelter will be open until May 31.Beaverton will extend its city shelter for up to 25 people at high risk of contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus for two months.

Community Action will manage the intake for the shelter, which is at the Beaverton Community Center at 12350 S.W. 5th St. Enrollment is by phone only through Community Connect at (503) 726-0850; phone hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The shelter will be open nightly starting today, March 30, and is scheduled to end on May 31. Maximum capacity is 25.

Abigail Elder, director of the office of Mayor Denny Doyle, said Beaverton acted at the request of Washington County, which will reimburse the city for most expenses. The county has had a homeless program for more than a decade, although the county does not operate shelters.

"These will be assigned beds," Elder said in an interview. "It will not be first-come, first-served, unlike our normal shelter. It is targeted to people in the high-risk category by age or medical conditions — people who are most vulnerable — but not to people displaying symptoms."

Priority will be given to people 60 and older or have underlying medical conditions. Guests will be served dinner and breakfast. A shower trailer will allow guests to shower once a week.

The shelter will observe practices such as sanitization of surfaces, hand washing, hand sanitizers, and 6 feet of social distance between people during meals and between beds. Hotel vouchers will be provided for people who show symptoms of the coronavirus. They will not stay at the shelter.

Washington County will supply public health nurses to provide health screenings. Staff at the shelter will wear personal protective equipment — masks, gloves and eye protection — and staff members cannot have underlying medical conditions.

Beaverton's severe weather shelter normally operates from November through March, when it is open on Thursdays and on days when the temperature is forecast to be at freezing or below for two consecutive days. Just Compassion of East Washington County has managed the seasonal shelter under a contract with the city. The seasonal shelter, which first operated in January 2017, was scheduled to close March 26.

The extended shelter is a joint project of the city, Just Compassion and Community Action. Old Town Forest Grove and Community Connection created and maintains the shower trailer.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with comments from a Beaverton city official about the extension.


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