Portland Leaders Reveal Locations of Six Safe Rest Villages – Blogtown

Small houses at Kenton Women’s Village, one of several alternative outdoor shelters currently operating in Portland. The planned Safe Rest Villages could have similar shelters. MEG NANNA

Portland leaders announced the future locations of four Safe Rest Village sites on Thursday, moving one step closer to finalizing the location of the six outdoor villages.

“Safe Rest Villages will be a first step on the streets toward restoration and stability,” City Commissioner Dan Ryan, who leads the Safe Rest Village plan, said at a news conference. “They’re not the only thing we need, but they’re an important part and we can’t afford to wait. We can’t keep talking about the perfect solution and let it get in the way of a good deed.

Safe Rest Villages, as defined by the city, “will be outdoor shelters – not tents – that will provide Portlanders with a place to sleep, basic and necessary hygiene, and access to case management and recovery services. behavioral health”. Each village, all but one of which are on public land, will have a maximum of 60 sleeping cabins and will be operated by local social service providers selected by the Portland and Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services. .

The new sites are in the neighborhoods of Sunderland, Lents, Pearl District and University Park. Safe Rest Village sites were announced in the Hazelwood neighborhood and the former Sears Armory site in southwest Portland last year. Cultivate Initiatives and All Good, two nonprofit social service organizations, have been selected to manage Hazelwood and Sears Armory Villages.

According to Ryan, the managed sites will aim to act as a stepping stone to permanent housing by providing a “restorative” environment where homeless Portlanders can connect with all the resources they need to “access the next stage of their lives”. The city expects each villager to stay at the site for six to nine months before moving to a new housing environment. The sites will be funded for three years with money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), meaning the villages could serve about a thousand Portlanders.

While a thousand people is only a portion of Portland’s homeless population, Ryan said the Safe Rest Village model is a creative response to Oregon’s homelessness and behavioral health crises. Oregon is one of the worst states in the country to provide mental health services to its population.

“We are using this as a chance to innovate and help the entire state and the community move forward in terms of getting out of the last place when it comes to these services and also getting the city out of the ditch that she’s currently in,” Ryan said. “In other words, you could say it’s a drop in the bucket, but it’s a pretty big drop.”

The Safe Rest Villages were originally scheduled to be operational by the end of 2021. Ryan attributed the delays to internal bureaucracy associated with the process of using federal ARPA funding, as well as pushback from neighbors in the proposed sites that did not want without housing people living nearby. According to Ryan, these new sites are places where homeless people are already camping.

A map of Portland with pins showing all Safe Rest Village locations.

A map of planned Safe Rest Village locations and existing outdoor shelters in Portland. Courtesy of the Dan Ryan Commission office.

Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal, who oversees part of North Portland where two safe rest villages will be located, said her constituents had offered her a run camp in the Sunderland borough in response to the population growing number of homeless people in the region.

“Both [villages] in my district are both in areas where we have seen a long and growing presence of people living homeless in tents and vehicles,” Jayapal said. “Setting these villages up where people are already will provide them with more humane conditions and a pathway to services and housing.”

Maryhelen Kincaid, a member of the Sutherland ward who approached Jayapal with the plan, said the establishment of a run camp in the ward was cause for celebration.

“It’s not a day to be negative,” Kincaid said. “It’s a day to celebrate that some of our neighbors are going to be housed.”

The announcement of the four Safe Rest Villages was also made possible by an executive order signed Wednesday by Mayor Ted Wheeler. The ordinance ultimately removed some internal zoning and bureaucratic hurdles, allowing the site’s new locations to be announced on Thursday.

Wheeler’s office recently proposed creating 1,000-person mass camps for homeless Portlanders to be staffed by the National Guard. After receiving backlash from local leaders, homeless service providers and members of the public, Wheeler proposed creating smaller, city-sanctioned camps that would serve more people than the tiny ones. pre-existing town-run house-style villages. Ryan’s office pointed out that the outdoor camps offered by Wheeler are not affiliated with the Safe Rest Village program.

Ryan’s office has yet to secure permits for sites and contractors to build the villages, but plans to open all six villages later this year.

Here are the locations of the six future Safe Rest Villages:

Menlo Park: SE 122nd and Burnside
SE Reedway Village: 106th Block SE Reedway Street
Sears Armory Village: 2731 SW Multnomah Blvd.
NW Naito Village: NW Naito Parkway near Broadway Bridge
Village of Peninsula Crossing: 6631 N Syracuse St.
Sunderland North Village: 9827 NE Sunderland Avenue

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