Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



UPDATE: The homeless shelter and recover center in the former Multnomah County Wapato Jail has expanded its capacity.

COURTESY PHOTO: BLHC - The Bybee Lakes Hope Center on teh Jordan Schnitzer Campus in North Portland.The Bybee Lakes Hope Center — formerly the never-opened Multnomah County Wapato Jail — officially unveiled its renovated space for transitional housing for the homeless at a Wednesday, March 23 morning press conference.

The expansion doubles the bed capacity and adds new services to continue the center's mission of providing support to people experiencing houselessness in the Portland metro area.

"Bybee Lakes Hope Center's individualized model for transitional housing has proven to be successful, and is an example that could be applied nationwide," said Alan Evans, founder and CEO of Helping Hands, the nonprofit that operates the facility.. "We're helping people get off the streets and out of an unsafe environment, and giving them the support they need to be successful after they transition out of the center."

COURTESY PHOTO: BLHC - A common room inside the Bybee Lakes Hope Center.

The expansion was made possible with contributions from many local donors and organizations, including a $1.2 million donation from the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.

"We were very fortunate to be in a position to make this substantial grant, to support the final transformation of this facility which can now serve so many more in our community," said Cindy Adams, president and CEO of UWCW. "UWCW is committed to housing stability, a key contributor to health, employment and education outcomes. Providing safe and stable housing for people in need is one tenet of our Resilient Families focus."

With the expansion, the facility can now house and support 318 people at time, up to 4,700 participants per year, in a trauma-informed, data-driven, person-centered manner. This includes crisis management, case management, resource navigation and a customized Individual Reentry Plan based on each participant's unique story and lived experience.

COURTESY PHOTO: BLHC - The kitchen at the Bybee Lakes Hope Center.

Along with its increased bed capacity, Bybee Lakes Hope Center at the Jordan Schnitzer Campus also now offers a new dorm for LGBTQIA+ participants, who are at a higher risk of experiencing houselessness as youth and adults, and a professional kitchen with vocational training to help participants with employment opportunities.

In the future, officials with Bybee Lakes plan on-site childcare and medical, dental and behavioral health services. Veterinarian services are also planned.

On March 1, KOIN 6 News was the first news outlet Evans invited into the renovated Bybee Lakes Hope Center. The organization recently sent a letter to Commissioner Dan Ryan and Multnomah County officials announcing their decision to pull out of running the proposed Safe Rest Village at the Sears Armory over safety concerns.

To learn more and make a donation, go to Bybee Lakes Hope Center.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Reporter Jim Redden contributed to this story.

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