Oxford Homeless Shelter Changes A “Work-in-Progress”


Oxford Street Shelter for the Homeless, Portland This Afternoon.

“There is definitely more security around here,” said Gary of the Oxford Street Homeless Shelter this afternoon.  Gary, who has lived at the Shelter for several months now,  was one of several taking a break outside on a cold day who spoke to this blogger about the well-publicized changes that became official on Wednesday, December 13th.

Earlier this week the city announced that on site changes were coming to the Homeless Shelter this past week.   Those changes would permit clients to stay on site and not have to leave the building – if they don’t want to.  The changes took effect on Wednesday, December 13th as reported above.

Clients of the Shelter used to be able to enter the building from the front entrance.  But they can no longer do that.  Now they must enter the building from a side entrance where they are checked in to make sure they belong there said Gary.  He said he hasn’t seen any new personnel which seemed to be part of the changes going on there, although a second client of the Shelter said there are additional personnel being trained for new positions.

There are two new television sets that arrived several weeks ago and in order to change the station you need to ask someone who works at the Shelter. Another client said he wished a section of the day room would be devoted to a space for playing card and board games.  The same client said the Shelter was promised to have wifi, but that hasn’t been installed yet. Fulfilling that promise would make him very happy.

“I know the city is doing the best it can with what it has,” said Gary.  “But there are certainly more rules and regulations than there used to be.”  A friend of his agreed.  “They tell us you can’t do this and you can’t do that now.  Well we didn’t know that,” he said.