Alternative Shelter Network
Alternative Shelter Network was launched in March, 2022 by advocates from Portland, Oregon homelessness response initiatives, to "create and foster a wide variety of shelter alternatives across the region."
History / Funding
Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, and staff led a budget amendment of $250,000 to support an "Alternative Shelter Learning Collaborative" that was included in the FY 2023 County budget, allocation to [City/County] Joint Office of Homeless Services.
In 2023, Commissioner Meieran convened an ad-hoc committee of advocates, referred to as the "Village People," which developed and led advocacy for a $900,000 budget item included in the Multnomah County FY24 budget, Program #30208C - Micro Villages Project".
MISSION: We are an inclusive network that collaborates, advocates, communicates, and learns together to create and foster a wide variety of shelter alternatives across the Portland region.
VISION: That all people have access to a choice of shelter that meets people where they are, offers healing and community, and where they are treated with dignity and humanity.
Shelter alternatives should be fairly distributed across the hearts of our neighborhoods rather than out of sight in service deserts.
Unhoused people need trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and person-centered alternative shelter choices.
There is a place for government action and there is a place for community action. Both are required for a complete set of solutions.
There is an immediate and ongoing need to act responsively and intentionally.
Building a sense of community and mutual engagement between shelter guests and housed neighbors is critically important.
There is a need for ongoing tracking and learning about best practices, and how to address challenges, with regular reports to the public.
There is a need to elevate the voices of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, those with disabilities or who are neurodivergent, and other marginalized communities and to center the needs and voices of those with lived experience of homelessness.
[ALTERNATIVE SHELTER NETWORK – FINAL MISSION STATEMENT: 7/19/2022]