Huston Commons provides essential 24-hour support services, including a medical care room to accommodate regular practitioner hours and telemedicine services for tenants, all of whom have disabilities.
A Home for Good
Huston Commons is the third Housing First program in Portland and was completed in 2017. Avesta Housing developed, owns, and manages the building, and Preble Street provides on-site staffing, including social work services for tenants.
Jessica loves to cook and aspires to teach kitchen skills to other tenants. “You gotta know how to cap a green pepper, you gotta know how to skin an onion, which kind of knife to use. Then just how to pan fry an egg.” She also wants to lead a grocery class, “so when you walk in you go for produce, second you go for coffee, cream, sugar, spices, then get all the meats… and I know how to bag the food.”
Although Jessica enjoys socializing, she also looks forward to time for herself. To relax, to reflect, and to heal.
“I want my life back. I want to get back to working part-time. I can’t wait to cook. I can’t wait to have my own shower. I can’t wait to just live a life again. I’m so grateful… I’m so grateful. I’ve earned this.”
Together, the 30 tenants of Huston Commons spent thousands of nights in Portland shelters, in the woods, or under bridges before finding their way home to a furnished efficiency apartment at Huston Commons. A home for good. Tenants pay 30% of their income toward rent, while HUD funds cover the balance. Portland Housing Authority provides project-based rental assistance.
We know that Huston Commons will make a demonstrable difference in the city’s overcrowded emergency shelters.
And we know that Huston Commons will save the community money, as it has been proven over and over again that providing “housing first” apartments and services is cheaper than the endless cycle of shelters, emergency rooms, jails, detox programs that chronically homeless people endure year after year.
The “housing first” model is an effective solution to chronic homelessness. Huston Commons will make a big difference in people’s lives and in this community.
Who Was Steve Huston?
Steve was a compelling advocate for social justice who led a life best described as “a road less traveled”—filled with kindness and friendship shown to his fellow travelers.
Family was important to him. Social justice was his mission. And a commitment to speak for those who were maligned and marginalized was his passion.
Steve, a Preble Street staff person who had spent years homeless himself, fervently believed: “We all deserve the dignity of … a home.” Hear Steve in his own words.