Staff, residents disagree on Hansen shelter quality

Residents complain but staff say it's been a success overall

A homeless resident at the Hansen shelter in NE Portland, left, and director Dana Greenwald, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)
A homeless resident at the Hansen shelter in NE Portland, left, and director Dana Greenwald, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Hansen building is now a homeless shelter and KOIN got a peek inside Friday.

Hansen shelter director Dana Greenwald, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)
Hansen shelter manager Dana Greenwald, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)

Until last week, the building was home to the Multnomah Sheriff’s office. The building now houses 38 couples, 80 women and 34 men. Shelter Manager Dana Greenwald is feeling positive about the shelter’s first week.

“It’s been going really well,” she tells KOIN. “We’re learning as we go. People are very thankful for the space.”

Greenwald says the success is due in part to the staff, who she says have strong communication.

A homeless resident at the Hansen shelter in NE Portland, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)
Billy Wilmath, a homeless resident at the Hansen shelter in NE Portland, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)

However, KOIN spoke to some of the shelter’s new residents who painted a different picture.

“When we arrived here mats had not been cleaned or disinfected,” Rick Boyd, who moved to the Hansen Building from the Peace Shelter said.

Resident Billy Wilmath said he didn’t feel like the staff treated him as a person. “They had no training before they got into the building, so they don’t know how to deal with people that’s in this position,” he said.

Greenwald said the staff work hard to “care for people with the highest authority that we can” and that the allegations of uncleanliness are untrue.

Inside the Hansen homeless shelter in Northeast Portland, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)
Inside the Hansen homeless shelter in Northeast Portland, July 29, 2016 (KOIN)

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