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Mayor says Portland and Multnomah County are working on plan to protect the homeless from the spreading illness

PMG FILE PHOTO - Service providers are working on plan to protect the homeless from the coronavirus.With Oregon's first case of coronavirus confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention come questions about how to protect those who are most vulnerable, including the homeless.

The City of Portland and Multnomah County officials have been working on connecting people to addiction, mental health and job services and the coronavirus presents yet another obstacle.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler hosted his third Community Conversation on Homelessness Tuesday at the University of Portland. Hundreds of people attended to voice their concerns.

"Of course people are concerned about the homeless population because you are starting with the population where people already are fairly sick," Wheeler said. "We have a lot of chronically homeless people who have potentially mental health issues or addiction issues or disabilities."

The county hasn't yet released a concrete plan but one is expected in the coming days.

"We've been working on a set of guidance plans and recommendations for house shelters," Theriault said. "We don't have those yet, we are still working to refine those."

The next Community Conversation on Homelessness will take place Saturday, March 7 at 9 a.m. at the Multnomah Arts Center Gymnasium.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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