Portland council expected to support single shelter to replace Oxford Street facility

The Portland City Council is expected to vote Monday on a resolution that would formally direct city staff to come up with a plan for a large new city-run homeless shelter while working with nonprofits on other shelters to serve groups with special needs.

The upcoming vote comes after a contentious meeting Tuesday of the council’s Health and Human Services and Public Safety Committee, which was attended by the full council. It was clear that committee members were split between favoring the single city-run shelter or several smaller shelters scattered throughout Portland. Most councilors said they were more likely to support a single city-run shelter.

At one point, City Councilor Belinda Ray, who leads the committee, asked for an informal straw poll to make clear that six councilors were favoring a single city shelter. Several social service providers have said in emails to Ray that they agree a larger, consolidated shelter would.

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