Nonprofit proposes turning Wapato Jail into homeless shelter

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The nonprofit started by prominent developer Homer Williams has submitted a last-minute offer to turn Wapato Jail into a homeless shelter.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that the plan comes almost a year after the county sought proposals to buy the jail, and within weeks of commissioners potentially closing a deal on its sale for other purposes.

Harbor of Hope, which Williams says organizes business leaders to pool money and resources to supplement the city and county’s work on housing homeless people, envisions a shelter with more beds than any other in Portland that would also have employment, training and other services.

Don Mazzioti, director of the nonprofit and former leader of the Portland Development Commission, said Harbor of Hope would offer $250,000 upfront and fund its own $200,000 feasibility study.