Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith Disheartened as County Auditor Pushes off Request for Review of Closed Family Shelter.

On Monday February 26, 2018 Commissioner Loretta Smith submitted a formal request for an audit of the now closed family shelter located at 16015 SE Stark Street.

Specifically, the Commissioner requested an accounting for $372,002 of County funds, and $25,695 of grant dollars from Metro, that were provided to the operator of the shelter, Human Solutions, in late 2015.

Just 24 hours after receiving this request, the County Auditor responded that there would be no immediate response for this request. Instead, the audit of these funds would wait until the next general audit of the Joint Office of Homeless services at some unidentified date in 2018 or 2019.

“This shelter was supposed to be a safe home for some of our County’s most vulnerable families. Instead it turned out to be a house of horrors,” said Commissioner Smith. “And now the County Auditor’s office is telling these folks that they don’t matter.”

Reports of dead rodents, a leaky and failing roof, and gas leaks were just some of the conditions found to exist in the shelter.

Commissioner Smith continues to call on the County to explore Wapato as a temporary shelter for those experiencing houselessness. She contends Wapato offers vulnerable families and individuals a clean and safe place to stay and access to services.

Smith will be asking the auditor to expedite the review of these public funds.

Contact: Elizabeth Mazzara Myers, 541-490-2330 [email protected]

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