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Cultivate Initiatives to Serve as Shelter Operator for Menlo Park Safe Rest Village

News Article
Cultivate Initiatives Graphic showing Greetings From Your New Neighbor artistic design and Cultivate Initiatives' Logo
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                

Contacts: Bryan Aptekar • bryan.aptekar@portlandoregon.gov

                 Margaux Weeke • margaux.a.weeke@portlandoregon…

CULTIVATE INITIATIVES TO SERVE AS SHELTER OPERATOR FOR MENLO PARK SAFE REST VILLAGE

The Safe Rest Villages (SRV) team is excited to announce that Cultivate Initiatives (www.cultivateinitiatives.org)  has agreed to serve as the shelter operator for the Village planned for 122nd Ave and East Burnside, at the Menlo Park “Park & Ride” site.

Cultivate Initiatives is an East Portland-based non-profit that is deeply rooted in and connected with the communities they serve. Services they currently offer include outreach, workforce development, mobile shower and hygiene, and community health, all focused on basic needs for those experiencing houselessness. Cultivate Initiatives also has experience managing a wide variety of shelters in SE Portland, so taking on the Menlo Park Safe Rest Village will be an extension of that good work.

By creating the new-to-Portland Safe Rest Villages program, Commissioner Dan Ryan’s office is leading a significant expansion of the community’s work to not only add temporary outdoor shelters but also provide wraparound services to meet people where they are – both physically in the community and emotionally on their journey.

Identifying an operator marks a major milestone for the Safe Rest Villages program, which Commissioner Ryan launched last year with unanimous approval from the Portland City Council, and support from Multnomah County and the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

“I am grateful for all of the good work Cultivate Initiatives does and we feel lucky to have them join us in this unprecedented effort as our shelter operator, particularly given the relationships and impact they have in the community,” shared Commissioner Dan Ryan. “They are the perfect fit to manage this new Safe Rest Village in East Portland, and we look forward to working together.”

“Our team at Cultivate is eager to continue the work of uplifting our houseless neighbors in East Portland,” shared Y'Ishia Rosborough, Housing and Sheltering Director at Cultivate Initiatives. “We are happy to provide this service in the community we proudly serve.”

The Menlo Park site will be one of six new Safe Rest Villages. The Safe Rest Villages program builds and innovates upon the City’s previous work during COVID-19 to establish the C3PO outdoor shelters. The C3PO sites are also being upgraded with longer-term facilities and management support from a nonprofit service provider.

Villages will include a safe and stable living environment with personal sleeping units open to people, their pets and personal belongings, as well as shared community services including flush toilets, showers, laundry, kitchenettes, and gathering space.

The stability of life off the streets is intended to allow Villagers to achieve their personal goals, whether that’s reconnecting with family, finding alternative, affordable, or permanent supportive housing, or entering recovery, among other options. Like other shelters supported by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, drop-in services will not be available in Safe Rest Villages. Services will be available for Villagers only.

The Menlo Park location is one of three sites announced for new villages, and the only one so far announced in outer East Portland. Another Safe Rest Village is planned in Multnomah Village, at the Sears Armory parking lot.

A third site, on the 2300 block of SW Naito downtown, will serve as the new location for the existing Queer Affinity (QA) Village, one of the original C3PO villages that transitioned to a managed oversight model last September. This is a culturally specific village open to those identifying as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. All Good Northwest (https://allgoodnw.org/)  is the shelter operator and will make the move to this new site with the QA Village. Given that, the Safe Rest Villages team is continuing its work to identify four additional locations for new Villages. The team hopes to share more sites in the near future.

The Safe Rest Village program in general is a partnership between the City of Portland and Multnomah County, through Commissioner Ryan’s office and the Joint Office of Homeless Services. TriMet is our partner at the Menlo Park “Park & Ride” shelter, with the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation serving as partners at the Naito location.

The City of Portland is investing more than $16 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to specifically support the Safe Rest Villages project, which is among several ARPA-funded efforts locally aimed at serving the needs of our houseless neighbors.

Portlanders are encouraged to visit the Safe Rest Villages website (www.SafeRestVillages.org) for more information and to contact SafeRestVillages@portlandoregon.gov  with any specific questions or concerns.

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