Kaiser Permanente announces $5.1 million homeless initiative as employees volunteer on MLK Day

Image: KPTV

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Hundreds of Portland Kaiser Permanente employees chose not to spend their day off Monday at home, but instead they gave back to the community.

More than 200 volunteers helped build housing for low-income community members. Their work came as Kaiser made a major announcement for a new project.

Kaiser Permanente is funding a $5.1 million project to provide homes for 300 homeless seniors.

The “Metro 300” initiative will take an “anything necessary” approach to achieving the goal of housing 300 homeless, medically vulnerable seniors by the end of 2020, according to Kaiser Permanente Northwest.

It’s part of the Regional Supportive Housing Impact Fund, which will pool contributions from health system, philanthropy and business partners, and will be administered by Health Share of Oregon, a coordinated care organization that manages the state’s Medicaid resources for the Portland metro region.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was among the people there Monday to help announce the project at Argyle Gardens, Transition Projects’ new low-income single adult housing development.

As part of Kaiser Permanente’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, employees volunteered at Argyle Gardens spending the day painting, building planter boxes and cleaning cabinets.

“I just get choked up because I’m so passionate about what it is we’re really doing and how long lasting it is,” said Ron Shoals, program manager for community employee engagement.

Volunteers also prepared baskets for the new residents of the building once it opens. The care packages include items like bedding, toiletries and kitchen utensils.

Argyle Gardens is expected to be open April 1.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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