Wheeler looks at Texas program as model for Portland homeless is - KPTV - FOX 12

Wheeler looks at Texas program as model for Portland homeless issue

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Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler said a plan being used in San Antonio that centralizes facilities and services for the homeless could offer answers for the issue in Portland. (KPTV) Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler said a plan being used in San Antonio that centralizes facilities and services for the homeless could offer answers for the issue in Portland. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler says he already has support from the private sector to tackle the city’s homeless problem, using a concept developed in Texas.

In just over six months, Wheeler will take over as mayor of Portland, and he is already pushing an idea he pitched during his campaign - take care of homeless people in a central location to help get them off the streets permanently.

It is a concept Wheeler has been watching closely in San Antonio, Texas, where a program is being ran by an organization called Haven for Hope.

The non-profit offers housing, health and addiction recovery services to homeless people, all in one location.

Wheeler said he wants to consider starting a similar program in Portland on available city property like Terminal 1 on the river or the never-opened Wapato jail site, or possibly even on private land.

The mayor-elect said he already has support from some local developers, adding that the Haven for Hope idea could eliminate the tent city issue for good and that he wants it to be a collaborative effort.

“Let’s take a look at what’s working, what opportunities we have, what resources we have and frankly what our needs are, and then let’s see what we can’t learn from this model,” Wheeler said. “We can all agree that what we’re doing right now isn’t working as well as we’d like it to work.”

Wheeler noted there is no specific deadline for this project, saying instead that he just wants it to be done right.

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