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Safe Rest Villages Community Engagement


This page was created Thursday, 11.4.21.  Updated 11.22.21

Engagement Approach

Commissioner Ryan believes that the most important audience for any Safe Rest Village location is the surrounding neighbors. The Safe Rest Villages team has two Community Engagement staff who were hired in the beginning of September. Since then, they have been focused on developing our Community Engagement Plan while working with neighborhoods and stakeholders at Safe Rest Village locations that have been announced. 

There are two elements of our Community Engagement efforts:

  1. General outreach, education, and engagement about the who, what, and why of the Safe Rest Villages initiatives
  2. Targeted, site-specific engagement efforts surrounding locations that actually become Safe Rest Villages

When Does Site-Specific Community Engagement Begin?

Once a location has been confirmed and publicly announced, the Safe Rest Villages team begins our engagement efforts in earnest. Prior to that, we focus on the contract negotiation phase with property owners and work with City Bureaus to thoroughly vet potential locations.  

We are currently in our due diligence phase for many sites, which we need to complete before we discuss more publicly—often, a potential location may not be suitable for a Safe Rest Village for a number of reasons. Collectively, our team has analyzed over 100 locations in a short few months. Our process to determine if a site is viable involves:

  1. Talking to the property owners, discussing our timeline (3-year use), and intentions (for a managed, outdoor shelter with 24/7 onsite management and services for Portlanders experiencing homelessness)
  2. A detailed review with the various City permitting agencies and any other site-specific conversations that may be needed

Until we get to a basic agreement with property owners and the site is reviewed by City agencies, we do not publicly announce sites. We have learned in this work that potential sites can look suitable in many waysuntil they don’t. We are putting our learnings to good use, and working to ensure we have a level of certainty that a location is going to become a Safe Rest Village before we announce it to the public. 

Efforts of the Safe Rest Village Community Engagement Team To Date

Funding for this program became available in July, with full staffing achieved just after Labor Day 2021. Now that our small team is fully staffed, we have been hard at work. 

The Safe Rest Village Community Engagement Team has:

  • Developed a project-specific email address, SafeRestVillages@portlandoregon…—we have received and responded to over 500 emails in that short time
  • Created this Safe Rest Villages website to share information—these pages will be updated regularly as we move forward
  • Developed and presented a slideshow on the Safe Rest Villages program to community groups, neighborhoods, the Multnomah County Board of County Commissioners, and others
  • Met with neighborhoods and stakeholders around announced Safe Rest Village locations
  • Met with community groups, Neighborhood Associations, Neighborhood Coalitions, Crime Prevention Staff in the Office of Community & Civic Life, and others to discuss Safe Rest Villages—what they will and will not be, how they will operate, and other details
  • Reviewed over 100 potential locations and evaluated each site for viability
  • Responded to media requests and hundreds of community questions
  • Reached out directly to nearby neighbors and stakeholders before the public announcement of a planned location
    • Note: as we've conducted this work, some sites have been released to the press prior to our comprehensive vetting—this has complicated some of our community engagement work, and it is never our intention to announce a site before we can speak directly to neighbors and stakeholders

Are we missing something? Email us at SafeRestVillages@portlandoregon… to share your thoughts!

Calendar of Overall Outreach To Date

Commissioner Ryan and the entire Safe Rest Villages Team have been working hard to share the story about the Safe Rest Villages initiative—what it will be and what it won't be—and how the villages will benefit housed and unhoused Portlanders. This is a partial list of Safe Rest Villages outreach efforts, meetings, media events, and other conversations that the Commissioner and the Safe Rest Villages team have been involved in since September. Note: a selected listing of media related to the project are available in the Community Engagement Plan below.


  • Portland Public School Board - Facilities and Operations Committee - attended meeting to answer questions about potential Safe Rest Village site being proposed for a PPS site (former Whitaker Middle School).  Proposal shared with PPS School Board as part of due diligence process.  No decision made at this point. (Commissioner Dan Ryan, Safe Rest Villages and Joint Office of Houseless Services staff.)


  • Safety off the Streets meeting.  Staff present to share and listen to input about the City's fall budget process.  (Safe Rest Villages staff)


  • Presented to League of Women's Voters, Housing interest group, about Safe Rest Villages program.  (Safe Rest Villages staff)



  • Discussion about Safe Rest Villages on Think Out Loud (OPB) (Commissioner Dan Ryan)
  • Site visit with Safe Rest Village team and other stakeholders at Menlo Park 'Park & Ride' (Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)




  • "Update on Livability from Elected Leaders"Presentation to Travel Portland members including a Safe Rest Villages update (Commissioner Dan Ryan, Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)
  • Meeting with Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson's staff to discuss Safe Rest Village location at Menlo Park 'Park & Ride' (Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)






  • Meeting with Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association and other stakeholders about SW 2300 Naito Parkway Safe Rest Village location (Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)
  • Attended A Home for Everyone: Safety of the Streets workgroupshared an update about Safe Rest Villages program (Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)






  • Press Conference announcing new Safe Rest Village locations (Commissioner Dan Ryan, Safe Rest Villages & Commissioner Ryan Staff)
  • Interview on KGW's Straight Talk with Laural Porter about Safe Rest Villages (Commissioner Dan Ryan)


  • KGW Interview about Safe Rest Villages (Commissioner Dan Ryan)



  • C3PO Old Town Site Visit (Safe Rest Villages Staff)


Community Engagement Plan

Our Community Engagement Plan shares the phases of our efforts: pre-planning efforts, site selection, identifying and contracting with shelter operators, and developing relationships with the communities where these innovative outdoor shelters will be placed. The Community Engagement Plan also includes links to Safe Rest Villages media coverage.

Like a barn raising, putting together pallet shelters is a team effort
A team puts together an outdoor pallet shelter similar to those that may be used at Safe Rest Villages.

Learn more about Safe Rest Villages through the links below: 

Funding for Safe Rest Villages

Locations & Siting Criteria for Safe Rest Villages

Project Timeline for Safe Rest Villages

Site Management for Safe Rest Villages

Meet the Streets to Stability Team