Portland, OR. Bybee Lakes Hope Center (BLHC) announced the grand opening of its newly renovated space in North Portland. The BLHC expansion doubles the bed capacity and adds new services to continue the center’s mission of providing support to people experiencing houselessness in the Portland metro area. The expansion includes new dorms and wraparound services for participants, including families and members of the LGBTQIA+ community. With the renovation, BLHC can now house and support 318 people at time, up to 4,700 participants per year, in a trauma-informed, data-driven, person-centered manner. This includes crisis management, case management, resource navigation and a customized Individual Reentry Plan based on each participant’s unique story and lived experience.

Donor Jordan Schnitzer sees the center as a long-term solution and possibly a model for other communities. 

Along with its increased bed capacity, Bybee Lakes Hope Center at the Jordan Schnitzer Campus now offers a new dorm for LGBTQIA+ participants, who are at a higher risk of experiencing houselessness as youth and adults, and a professional kitchen with vocational training to help participants with employment opportunities. Below are some photos of the newly renovated spaces.

Future plans include:

  • On-site dog kennel and dog run with volunteer veterinarian services
  • Raised bed gardens and increased educational opportunities in their three-acre therapeutic garden with orchard and exercise paths
  • Two playground/play areas for children and families
  • Daycare and preschool services for working parents
  • Medical, dental, mental and behavioral health care
  • Nutrition education classes to teach cooking skills including how to cook for healthy living

“Bybee Lakes Hope Center’s individualized model for transitional housing has proven to be successful, and is an example that could be applied nationwide,” said Alan Evans, founder and CEO of Helping Hands, who was homeless for over 25 years. “We’re helping people get off the streets and out of an unsafe environment, and giving them the support they need to be successful after they transition out of the center.”

The expansion was made possible with contributions from many local donors and organizations, including a $1.2 million donation from United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW).

“We were very fortunate to be in a position to make this substantial grant, to support the final transformation of this facility which can now serve so many more in our community,” said Cindy Adams, president and CEO of UWCW. “UWCW is committed to housing stability, a key contributor to health, employment and education outcomes. Providing safe and stable housing for people in need is one tenet of our Resilient Families focus.”

About Bybee Lakes Hope Center:

Bybee Lakes Hope Center (BLHC) is a transitional housing facility in the Portland Metro area led by Alan Evans, who was homeless for over 25 years. BLHC opened in 2020 after local philanthropist, Jordan Schnitzer, donated the land to Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers. For more information, please visit: https://helpinghandsreentry.org/bybee-lakes-hope-center.

About United Way:

For more than one hundred years, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been working to meet the needs of vulnerable families. No matter the crisis, we have always remained steadfast to our commitment to LIVE UNITED. Together, we are helping our community recover and become more resilient, while building a more inclusive and equitable region where all families have the resources and opportunities to thrive. For more information and to get involved, please visit www.unitedway-pdx.org.