PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The Jupiter Hotel in Burnside is offering all 81 rooms on its original 1960s side so Multnomah County can continue to implement social distancing among its homeless shelter populations .
“As we’ve always said to Jupiter, everyone is welcome,” Jupiter general manager Nick Pearson said at a press conference Thursday.
Multnomah County President Deborah Kafoury said homeless people are among the most vulnerable in the county.
Kafoury issued an order last week that gave the county the power to use hotels during the pandemic, but said she has yet to have to use that power as places like The Jupiter escalate. .
“Throughout my life, I have seen amazing things happen when people come together for a single purpose. It’s one of those moments, ”Kafoury said.
Thursday’s announcement comes as the county’s other two temporary socially distanced homeless shelters – the Charles Jordan Community Center and the Oregon Convention Center – reach a capacity of 120 each.
“The last 20 people are moving from one of our couples’ shelters, so starting today these two programs will be fully occupied,” said Marc Jolin, director of the Joint Homeless Services Office.
Jolin said Jupiter’s rooms will be for people already staying in shelters or involved in county programs, not for entry or exit. People who move in show symptoms of COVID-19 and should be isolated from the rest of the shelter population pending test results, Jolin said.
Since the individual hotel rooms all have exterior doors and many have floor access, Jolin said they are perfect for recovering patients.
At the press conference, county officials said a dozen people had already been moved in.
“Here, we have a full staff on site 24 hours a day. There is also a nurse on site who does the routine checks,” Jolin said.
These staff are made up of county employees with medical training, nonprofit staff and others who have volunteered, and the county is looking for more people to help.
“We need trained medical staff and we need compassionate people with experience in social services to sign up for volunteer teams or full-time paid temporary work,” Kafoury said.
If you are interested, you can register for these positions by visiting this link.
The Jupiter NEXT hotel, which is just across the street, is always open for regular business, Pearson said. In addition to his regular guests, Pearson said Jupiter NEXT is working with healthcare providers across Portland to house frontline medical workers who cannot return home due to the risks of exposure.
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