Former RiteAid will reopen as veterans’ shelter

The Arbor Lodge Shelter will open this spring as a 106-person facility at the former RiteAid pharmacy on the corner of N. Lombard Street and N. Denver Avenue. The site is located on the border between the Kenton and Arbor Lodge neighborhoods. 

Former RiteAid site under construction
Former RiteAid site under construction
Proposed Arbor Lodge Homeless Shelter
Proposed Arbor Lodge Homeless Shelter

The $9-million Multnomah County project will provide wraparound services including addiction and mental health counseling. The mission will prioritize veterans living in the Kenton area and wider North Portland. 

“The Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association welcomes the shelter,” said Ginger Edwards, one of its longtime leaders. But some neighbors have lingering concerns. The City of Portland did not include county-owned shelters in their ordinance stipulating no camping within 150 feet of a shelter. “That has created a large issue for housed neighbors on Campbell Street,” she said. 

Some of that anxiety involves the now razed Farmers Barn tavern site immediately across the street from the shelter. A homeless encampment sprang up there last year that blocked sidewalks. Neighbors reported prostitution activity near the site. The City Council heeded those complaints and the problem has since quieted down, although discarded camping material remains visible and worries continue. “We hope the City will reconsider and include any shelter in the ordinance,” Edwards said.

The County previously used the site as a multi-service temporary shelter serving 56 adults inside and a dozen people in personal sleeping units in its parking lot. County officials closed the site in March 2023 to begin construction on the new and expanded facility.

The nonprofit Do Good Multnomah will operate the shelter. The new, expanded facility will be a low-barrier shelter allowing individuals with pets and some behavioral conditions.

Artists Lillyanne Pham and Paola De La Cruz will create an exterior mural for the building to be unveiled later this year.

Proposed Arbor Lodge Shelter looking north
Proposed Arbor Lodge Shelter looking north with N. Denver Ave.