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Washington County funds two front-door access centers in Tigard and Hillsboro to connect people in need to homeless services

With voter-approved Supportive Housing Services resources, Washington County funds key capital investments in access centers to provide critical front door services to unsheltered homeless individuals and connect them to shelter and housing solutions.
Media release

This morning the Washington County Board of County Commissioners approved $10 million in Supportive Housing Services resources for two new access centers, one in Hillsboro and one in Tigard. These awards were made through an open, competitive Access Center Notice of Funding Opportunity released by the county earlier this year.

“We’ve diligently built out a homeless services system of care with voter-approved Supportive Housing Services resources,” said Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington. “The next step in that system is a welcoming front door through access centers that will offer services, support, and care for people in need.”

County-funded access centers will offer critical front door access to services including immediate life-saving resources and long-term housing connections. These capital investments are supporting the development of purpose-built space that will offer those in need showers, hot meals, storage and connection to case managers and services.  

Services will continue to be offered seven-days a week, 12-hours a day at the new sites. The new sites will allow access center locations to provide “pop up” emergency shelter capacity to address additional shelter needs during times of severe weather, such as the January ice storm or future heat waves. To see existing day center capacity, visit our website here.

Hillsboro location – Project Homeless Connect 

Project Homeless Connect has been operating a day center in the Hillsboro area at the “yellow house” since 2021. With much needed capital investments and ongoing services funding, Project Homeless Connect will be able to fully demolish and rebuild an adjacent home on the property to serve as a hub for wraparound services addressing a wide spectrum of needs for unsheltered community members. The site provides easy access to public transportation, OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center, many other public amenities, and connections to employment opportunities in the area.

"For 18 years, Project Homeless Comment has been a vital resource in our community," says Kim Marshall, Executive Director of Project Homeless Connect. "But it's only now, thanks to the voter approved - Supportive Housing Services measure, that we finally have the necessary tools to effectively serve our homeless friends. Our new access center will help us continue to provide a safe, secure and inviting environment for those in need, offering warmth and support as they embark on their path toward stable housing."

Rendering of Project Homeless Connect’s future Access Center in Hillsboro, OR.

                                           Rendering of Project Homeless Connect’s future Access Center in Hillsboro, OR 

Tigard location – Just Compassion Tigard Resource Center 

Just Compassion has operated a day center out of an old residential home in the Tigard area since 2015. In December, Just Compassion broke ground on a purpose-built shelter that will provide 60 year-round shelter beds in 2025. With additional funding for an access center, the campus will expand to include two buildings with storage available for guest belongings, laundry, showers, a commercial kitchen, and a welcoming community space for individual and group activities. The site location offers easy access to public transportation, medical services, the library, and other important public amenities. Employment services are available at the nearby location of Easterseals and behavioral health services are offered at the nearby establishments of LifeWorks NW and New Narrative. 

Executive Director of Just Compassion, Vernon Baker shares, “We are extremely excited to expand our services and offer even more opportunities to support those experiencing homelessness in our community. A special thank you to Washington County and the entire team for putting together a strong vision to amplify much-needed resources and improve the lives of Just Compassion guests through additional services. We are on track to launch services in late winter and early spring of 2025." 

Rendering of Just Compassion’s future Access Center in Tigard, OR

                                                      Rendering of Just Compassion’s future Access Center in Tigard, OR 

“I am grateful for Washington County’s investment in Just Compassion access center,” explained Tigard Mayor Heidi Lueb. “This dedicated center will help community members have greater access to safe, stable places to go during the day and access to more support services than ever before. Community resources like Just Compassion are vital to achieving our Council Goal of Reducing Houselessness.” 

The county anticipates funding two more access center locations in the future, one in Beaverton and one in western Washington County. 

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