The Portland City Council has agreed to help finance a homeless shelter for families in southeast Portland.

The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve $500,000 in funding in the form of a 60-year, no-interest loan from the Portland Housing Bureau to Portland Homeless Family Solutions.

The nonprofit organization is behind a new family shelter on Southeast 92nd Avenue near Foster Road. The property encompasses two buildings, including a former church that will house 10 families.

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The second building is a neighboring apartment complex that will hold 16 families at a time.

Each family would get private rooms, shared bathrooms and three meals a day.

Representatives of Portland Homeless Family Solutions said families in that part of town have no other options and often resort to sleeping in cars or on the streets.

“Families we work with don’t live downtown. Sometimes they’ve never even been downtown before, maybe once to go to the courthouse. Our families live out east. Their kids go to Centennial, Reynolds, Park Rose and David Douglass school districts. And they want our services to be closer to where their lives are centered,” said Brandi Tuck, executive director of Portland Homeless Family Solutions.

The organization reports needing more than $3 million to make the project a reality. Leaders say they are currently $200,000 short of the required amount, which they hope to raise in private fundraising.

They are also looking for donations, including furniture and appliances.

The loan from the city was approved with the condition that if the shelter were to foreclose or change its purpose, the Housing Bureau can buy back the property.

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