City in Oregon has not opened promised beds amid camping ban
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — City officials in Oregon have not fulfilled a promise to open 140 homeless shelter beds after a public camping ban was enacted more than two weeks ago.
The city of Salem has not opened any new shelter beds as of Friday after initially promising progress by Jan. 1, KGW-TV reported.
There are currently 330 shelter beds available each night and city churches have the ability to open another 256 beds when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) or below, city officials said. However, opening those additional beds depends on volunteer availability, officials said.
City Council has authorized funding support to keep the existing network of shelter available in cold temperatures with the intent to add more beds to the program, but they were unable to meet the additional need, officials said.
City officials are committed to finding shelter space after a church who had previously volunteered to house new beds backed out, officials said.
There are about 1,800 homeless people living in Salem, officials said.