Portland’s three outdoor emergency shelters set up for physical distancing will be winterized in the coming days through the addition of 40 small, sturdy aluminum “pods.”
Work begins Monday in the Old Town shelter on Glisan Street, Multnomah County and Portland’s Joint Office of Homeless Services said in a statement. The tents there now will be replaced by the pods.
The temporary units will arrive at the two shelters on Southeast Water Avenue in early December.
The pods by Pallet, a company based in Everett, Washington, will provide people at the outdoor shelters with walls and a roof as well as lights and electric heating. The company says each pod, made of aluminum and composite materials, is easy to clean and can be assembled and disassembled in less than an hour without tools.
“We know how important it is to provide our houseless community members with a safe, humane and dignified living space, especially as we enter cold-weather conditions,” Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said in a release. “I appreciate the work that has gone into finding creative solutions like these shelter pods to make sure these villagers are able to get through both the harsh winter weather and COVID-19.”
The units are built to withstand 110-mile-per-hour winds and feature a folding bunk system. The pods, which cost about $5,000 each, do not have kitchens or bathrooms.
Portland’s three emergency outdoor shelters, which opened in April as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold in Oregon, provide meals, drinking water, restrooms and showers.
— Douglas Perry