Efforts by Portland, state navigate path out of chronic homelessness

Steve Bowie thinks back to the two years he spent on Portland’s streets and remembers the feeling of hopelessness.

For 28 months, he battled with a longtime addiction to alcohol and spent nights on floor mats at the city-run Oxford Street Shelter or at Milestone Recovery, a smaller shelter for people with substance use disorder.

Then, in 2017, Bowie was one of 30 homeless people selected to live in an unusual new supported housing facility in Portland called Huston Commons. Based on a philosophy known as housing first, Huston Commons had a collection of small, furnished apartments with 24-hour staff support and a community kitchen and laundry.

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