Portland wanted to shelter every homeless family. The plan backfired, but it offers lessons for Seattle.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, center left, visits the county’s couples’ shelter recently. The shelter, where couples can share beds, is an innovation Kafoury instituted in her effort to get more of Portland’s homeless population inside. (Ben Brink / Special to The Seattle Times)
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, center left, visits the county's couples' shelter recently. The shelter, where couples can share beds, is an innovation Kafoury instituted in her effort to get more of Portland's homeless population inside. (Ben Brink / Special to The Seattle Times)

No city wants families living on its streets, but fixing the homeless problem turns out to be more complicated than simply saying “We won’t turn anyone away” from shelters.

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