A report was released this summer on the emergency COVID-19 shelters opened during the first few months of the pandemic, including in Beaverton. Beaverton Severe Weather Shelter (BSWS) was open for 63 additional days this spring past its usual opening, providing a safe place for adults experiencing homelessness to shelter in place.
The BSWS was one of three emergency shelters in Washington County, in coordination with Community Action, Just Compassion, and Project Homeless Connect.
Together, the shelters served 291 adults, including 15 veterans and 66 individuals with disabilities. In addition to quantitative data and procedural information on the Washington County shelters, the report shares impactful stories of clients who the shelter served, such as the following.
S is in his mid-20s and has experienced homelessness since the age of 15. He shared that he was working and attending school while living in tents and doorways. The BSWS was a safe place that provided him with services that allowed him to be successful with his employment, and after a few months of stability, he was promoted to assistant manager. After saving some money and getting connected to housing services, S was able to move into his first apartment with a roommate.
M is in her mid-sixties and has experienced homelessness for years. She had physical disabilities and fragile health. She was not able to live independently and had been regularly exposed to the cold. Her health deteriorated until she ended up in the hospital. Several organizations worked with the Beaverton Severe Weather Shelter to help coordinate care, including Community Action, Lifeworks NW, and Washington County. Between them, they were able to get her into a hotel and to receive Medicaid benefits so she could be housed at an assisted living facility, where she resides now.
For the full shelter report and more information on BSWS, visit www.BeavertonOregon.gov/shelter.