The Banfield Shelter Motel opened in late July to accommodate 60 medically vulnerable men, women and couples as part of a coordinated COVID-19 response.
The Banfield Shelter Motel is a temporary, motel-based shelter for up to 60 medically vulnerable adults that offers individual rooms for those experiencing homelessness who are most likely to be severely impacted by COVID-19. The program provides services to help support guests in regaining stability, connecting to essential support services, and accessing stable and permanent housing options.
This shelter is an intentional, strategic component of A Home for Everyone – a community-wide effort to house Multnomah County residents experiencing homelessness. The Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) has opened three shelters with nonprofit partners to move individuals experiencing homelessness to shelters that offer physical distancing and support services for those seeking to end their homelessness. Throughout the transition to motels, the stability, health and safety of shelter guests remains the highest priority of both JOHS and Transition Projects.
"Providing the most vulnerable shelter residents with their own rooms is a critical strategy for keeping people as healthy as possible during the COVID-19 crisis," Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said. "This pandemic has shown us definitively that stable shelter, where people with the highest risk of dying from this disease can maintain physical distancing and practice good hygiene, is essential to the community’s health and well-being."
The Banfield Shelter Motel provides rooms for up to 60 adults. Each room offers participants their own air conditioner, bathroom and microwave. The separation allowed by this kind of shelter follows public health guidelines to best protect people who would otherwise be in congregate living situations, are older, and have underlying health conditions, or have compromised immune systems. Individuals are placed into the Banfield Shelter Motel after receiving a health assessment and referrals through existing shelter in-take processes. Walk-up services are not available at this site.
Participants staying at the Motel receive three meals a day and services akin to those provided at 24-hour shelters, including laundry, case management and housing support. At the Banfield, Transition Projects staff use two office trailers placed in the parking lot for work and meeting space. There are also plans to expand primary care and behavioral health services to the Banfield and open additional physical distancing motel shelter sites across the city. The impacts of this kind of support are already being felt by participants.
A resident recently shared that he feels "blessed to be working with staff who are helping me end my homelessness," noting that the Transition Projects team have made him feel at ease and that the Banfield provides, "a healthy environment to work on recovering from my addictions."
To learn more about this Shelter, please see the FAQ below or read the media release from A Home for Everyone. If you'd like support the individuals this shelter, please review our COVID-19 support page to make a monetary or in-kind donation.
"Since moving in, I'm feeling much better and enjoy having my own space. Living here gives me a sense of autonomy that I didn't have before."
"Staff are always making sure that we have what we need and I'm grateful for their help."
"This place allows me to move on in my life, reconnect with my family and is helping me get where I need to be."