Editors Note: Because of our coverage of the crisis happening regarding the growing homeless population in Hillsboro and Washington County, this news release, given by our City this AM, is being shared with our readers. This is the first of several actions we believe Hillsboro will be making.
Here is the News Release- 2021_Winter_Shelter_FAQ
Info Courtesy City Of Hillsboro website – https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/
Winter Weather Shelter to Open at the Hillsboro Civic Center
The City of Hillsboro is partnering with Washington County, Community Action, and Project
Homeless Connect to provide a winter shelter – starting this Sunday – at the Hillsboro Civic
Center. The shelter will operate through March 15, 2021, in the space previously occupied by
the Washington County Museum.
When will the winter shelter operate?
The shelter will begin operations on Sunday, January 31, 2021, and continue through the end of
the season on March 15, 2021. The shelter will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Where is the shelter located?
The shelter is located in the Civic Center space previously occupied by the Washington County
Museum above Outdoors In and the former Starbucks space. Access to the shelter will be
provided through the entrance adjacent to Outdoors In.
How many people can stay in the shelter?
Up to 30 people maximum
Who is eligible to stay in the shelter?
Adults who are 18 years and older are eligible. The shelter does not accept pets.
Are COVID‐19 safety measures being taken?
Yes. The shelter will help to reduce the risk of exposure among vulnerable populations who are
unhoused, including those who are over 55 and/or have underlying health conditions. Guests
will sleep and eat while maintaining a distance of at least 12 feet apart. All sanitation, janitorial,
and safety protocols will be followed in accordance with Oregon Health Authority guidance.
Who is coordinating the care on-site – and what services are offered?
In partnership with the City of Hillsboro, Washington County, and Community Action, the team
from Project Homeless Connect is the lead in providing coordinating care services.
The temporary use of existing space for the emergency shelter will allow for sleeping, meals,
water, and restrooms. Mats, sheets, and blankets will be provided – and staff will perform
wellness checks. Staffing will include a shelter coordinator, a shelter host in the day and
evening, security staff, and a meal coordinator.
The hours for the Civic Center’s outside restrooms will remain the same: 6 am – 9 pm, Monday
– Friday (closed on weekends & holidays). The lights inside the shelter will be turned off
between 10 pm and 6 am, with limited access for guests who need to go outside for fresh air
for their mental health care.
How does someone register to access this shelter?
Individuals can be placed onto the list (or waitlist) for shelter care by completing the
Washington County Winter Shelter Registration web form.
Additionally, the Project Homeless Connect Day Center Outreach Team can also support
individuals in completing the process of registration.
How did the City select the Downtown location for the shelter?
Reasons for the site selection include:
Many community members experiencing homelessness or houselessness are already in
Downtown is a central location for access to services and transportation.
The space is vacant and owned by the City of Hillsboro, allowing for faster operational
The space offers a safe, secure environment with restroom facilities.
Why is the City of Hillsboro providing a winter shelter in 2021?
For more than 10 years, the City of Hillsboro has been involved in many efforts to assist
community members experiencing homelessness and houselessness, including providing food
directly to impacted individuals and funding for community partners working to end
With very limited shelter availability in Hillsboro this winter due to COVID‐19 risks, the City is
providing access to a City‐owned property to assist in sheltering individuals in need while
working to manage COVID‐19 risks.
While Washington County hosts additional shelter hubs, the long‐term goal of communities is
to provide shelter to assist unhoused community members.
Is this a secured environment for community members?
The shelter will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with staff and security on site. Access to
the shelter is not based on an individual’s past, but staff and security are aware of any prior
criminal history or outstanding warrant(s) for shelter guests.
In addition, the Hillsboro Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Team is experienced in
working with community members experiencing homelessness and will be present on-site at
various times. The Hillsboro Police Department will also increase patrols in the Downtown area
during this time.
Are shelter staff and individuals utilizing the shelter allowed to park in City‐owned lots?
The City is providing temporary parking permits to 12 to 15 individuals, including shelter staff
and those utilizing the shelter. Their vehicles may park in spaces reserved for City employees at
the Civic Center, the parking lot at 2nd and Washington, or the parking lot near 2nd and Lincoln.
Who do I call if I have any questions or concerns?
Please share any questions or concerns with Shelter Manager Candace Dunn at 503‐825‐8970
and firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Marshall at email@example.com.
If you have questions about the City’s role in hosting the winter shelter in Downtown Hillsboro,
please call Patrick Preston at 503‐681‐6218 or email patrick.preston@hillsboro‐oregon.gov.
If you are witnessing an incident that requires an immediate response, please call the Hillsboro
Police Department at 911 (emergencies) or 503‐629‐0111 (non‐emergencies).
In addition, the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce created an information piece that can be
helpful for business owners with concerns.
Why does the shelter end on March 15?
The coordinated effort to provide shelter during 120 days of severe winter weather is possible
through funding made available at the direction of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD). Funding from HUD expires after 120 days on March 15.
What shelter options are available after March 15?
Washington County hosts other shelter hubs. More information is available from the
Washington County website and through community partners.
What is the City’s plan for winter 2021‐22 and beyond?
The City of Hillsboro will continue to work with Washington County and other community
partners to identify options for the future. The Civic Center space offers a temporary solution.
The site is not intended to be used as a winter weather shelter in future years.
What has the City done to support community members experiencing houselessness?
In hosting the severe weather winter shelter, the City of Hillsboro has provided $25,000 in
funding plus the use of the Civic Center space. City staff collaborate with many community partners to address houselessness. Since July 2019, the City has provided more than $415,000 in funding to various organizations for programs specific to addressing houselessness.
Fiscal Year 2020‐21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)
Impact Grant – $40,000 (3‐year grant at $40,000 per year) Homeplate Youth Services –
to provide houseless youth with employment services
Community Services Grants – $98,500 (programs specific to houselessness)
Project Homeless Connect – $60,000 (additional $20,000 this year to support expansion
of day shelter hours)
HomePlate Outreach Worker – $56,000
Metro HomeShare – $25,000 ‐ Metro HomeShare is a program linking individuals who
have housing to share with others who seek affordable housing in exchange for
affordable rent and/or in‐kind service.
Camp EAGLE – $2,625
Point In Time Count – Working with Community Action to identify opportunities to
Community Action – $2,500 sponsorship
Open Door HousingWorks Emergency Food Bank Program ‐ $5,000
Fiscal Year 2019‐20 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020)
Project Homeless Connect – $41,800
HomePlate Outreach Worker – $56,000
Metro HomeShare – $25,000
Camp EAGLE – $2,625
Point In Time Count – $590.51.
City staff assisted with coordination and development of app; staff volunteers for outreach support
These organizations offer vital care, service, and information including medical and dental care,
shelters and housing information, employment information, and food. With temperatures
dropping, it is even more important to connect people to resources that will provide safe
assistance during the winter months.
How can I help community members experiencing houselessness?
We encourage community members who are able to contribute to join the City in supporting
these organizations to support the well‐being of some of our most vulnerable community
Contact Project Homeless Connect to learn more about ways to help in the short‐term and
long‐term. Opportunities include:
volunteering for adults 18 and over (flexible hours with duties such as sweeping floors
or making coffee)
donating items such as socks, cold‐weather gear, and jackets
donating food that is individually packaged (items made at home cannot be accepted)
It seems to me Hillsboros goal should be to get everyone in low income or some other type of housing. We dont have enough low income housing. Setting up some mini home shelters and getting the homeless to pickup after themselves should be happening. Keeping the homeless out of public parks needs to be addressed.
I agree with you to an extent. We have nowhere for them to go. For a city of over 100,000 people, we have failed to provide for our own while major corps have come in and taken Billions from our town. So the question remains…was it all worth it? I am never sure having been on both sides of the equation. I personally have a plan I have shared with all of our City leaders. They have plans too. But none are moving fast enough for us to catch up nor keep up with the swelling homeless population. I just do not know what is next! Stay in touch and keep the discussions going!
We appreciate people like you!
Hi Dirk, i really like ready your views on homelessness , love your idea about jackson bottom area,would support that idea very much. who would a person contact and set up a community vote to get that done. also how much is it costing up to rent out a 114 unit at the comfort inn a month, the comfort in across from hillsboro air port ? and why has not any one noticed the big black trash bags piled high up the window in one of the rooms,i would love to know what the update is on this hotel that we are all paying for.wouldnt it be cheaper, to build the pallet shelter and house them there ? Thank you Amy
The hotel I believe is Washington County – not the City. I will try to locate the right person, although that is not easy to do. I would call Washington County and ask for Julie McCloud – Julie_McCloud@co.washington.or.us. Feel free to report back what you find.
As a property owner and downtown business for over 20 years on Main St – we have some definite concerns regarding the placement of this shelter. The city calls Downtown Hillsboro it’s Living Room so why would you chose to place a Homeless Shelter there? The city owns multiple properties throughout town that would be large enough to create a much larger shelter. For the Civic Center is house 30 people is like putting a tiny bandage on a large wound. The city should be working with the county – why not re-utilize the 140 pallet tents that were put up at the fairgounds?
We applaud the city for doing something to help with this crisis but not sure this is the best option. Over the years, the city has always been good about discussing plans and soliciting feedback from downtown businesses prior to implementing a plan that could have such a negative impact. But there was No discussion – just an announcement. This past year been difficult enough with Covid and the ongoing construction and street closures with the HiLight installation and now this? We all will hope for the best!
I would encourage all business owners in the Downtown area that have any concerns regarding the shelter at the Civic Center contact Patrick Preston at 503‐681‐6218 or email patrick.preston@hillsboro‐oregon.gov.
I understand why business owners are concerned about a shelter at the civic Center.
It’s better to put them in a tent on a pallet and still be in the cold without heat.
You know, “out of sight out of mind.”.
Let some outer part of the community deal with it.
It seems that most businesses and members of the community are only concerned if they have to see it around them.
But their answers are always the same.
Push them out and let someone else deal with it.
I don’t see the businesses and the community coming up with ideas for housing and the health and well being of the less fortunate in the community.
I know there are good and bad homeless people out there, but don’t just lump them all together as problematic.
There are many out here that are normal every day people that are just down on their luck and have lost so much.
But society treats them the same as a homeless crack head.
Try living in their shoes for a week.
Talk about PTSD!
Try living without a job or money or a home.
Try finding a spot where you can at least be out of the weather.
Try being scared if the police or other public officials are going to make you move from spot to spot.
Try worrying everyday if a drug addict or a violent homeless person is going to harm you if they want your things.
Try figuring out where you are going to find something to eat or drink.
Where are you going to get a shower?
Where are the public bathrooms?
Where are you going to get your clothes washed and dried?
And these so called shelters are not open every day.
And they only provide shelter and food and bathrooms and laundry for their regulars.
And they choose who the regulars are.
And when they are at capacity, they turn you away.
It is worse then you think out here.
The city states that the Hillsboro police and the Washington County police are sensitive to the needs of the homeless?
What a bunch of crud that is.
We watch them push the RV’s from one place to another on a daily basis.
We watch them push others from place to place with no concern as to where they could safely be.
The police constantly threaten the homeless and the RV’ers with Tresspass and tickets and arrest and to have there vehicles taken away and towed.
How does this help the homeless?
People need to open their eyes and REALLY look to see how it is for the homeless.
And there are a whole lot more homeless out here in Washington County then they let you know.
We also have Portland telling the homeless to move out to Washington County, because the social services are better here.
What’s up with that?
I know these are FACTS, because I am one of the homeless.
I lost my home, I am also disabled and have REAL medical issues.
My wife is also disabled and has congestive heart failure.
We live in our motorhome .
We struggle to find a place to park.
We have a very limited income.
But we make sure we have auto insurance.
We have service dogs and make sure they are fed.
But a lot of times, we ourselves eat but once a day.
We have to worry about fuel for our rigs as well as for the generator.
Also if we can afford to get propane for heat and cooking.
Most months we run out of money within a week of getting paid.
But I still find ourselves more fortunate then some.
We don’t drink alcohol or use drugs, not even marijuana or cigarettes.
But we still get harassed by the police.
We still get harassed by business owners about parking in the outer parts of their parking lots, where no one wants to park.
We get harassed about parking in lots vacant of businesses or that are closed due to Clovis.
We don’t harass anyone, we don’t leave garbage anywhere, we are quiet and respectful to others.
We dump our tanks at designated RV dumpsters.
Yet we STILL get harassed.
And these programs to put homeless in motels?
They won’t help us because we have an RV.
Anyways, I could go on and on, but what good will it do?
Everyone talks about the homeless, but no one comes up with a fix for the problem.