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Site Management for Safe Rest Villages


This page originally published Thursday 9.23.21; updated Tuesday 11.10.21

How will these villages be managed? 

The Joint Office of Homeless Services will select the groups that will manage the villages andtogether with those selected contractorswork to determine the management model, the conditions of residency, and other aspects of village life.  

The City, Multnomah County, and the Joint Office share the commitment that these sites have low barriers for entry, that they provide basic hygiene and services, that they are accessible to people of all abilities, and that the villagers and the communities in which they are located become good neighbors. Decisions around age and community affiliation questions, lengths of stay, and more, are all conversations and decisions that lay ahead. 

They will be for shorter term villages than other outdoor shelters and provide services and case management. The sites will allow couples and pets, and will welcome people by referral only. Referrals will be made by first responders, Park Rangers, Portland Street Response, among other social service providers engaging with those living outside.

A photo of Commissioner Ryan and his Policy Director visiting St Johns Village including the community garden at that site

Where else are outdoor shelters operating? Who else is operating them?

Many people are working to provide outdoor shelters, safe rest spaces, and access to services that bridge the gap from life on the street to more supportive, stable housing. Existing outdoor shelters include:

The Joint Office of Homeless Services recently put out a request for proposals for Alternative Shelters and is working with local non-profits to create a range of outdoor shelters. Those programs will receive funds from the Metro Supportive Housing Services measure and could add several more villages to our system of services.

One of those Joint Office sites is Beacon PDX, among many organizations partnering with communities of faith to build micro-villages (10-12 sleeping pods) on church properties and there are more examples. And that's just in Portland! In the Metro Area, Vancouver is also building outdoor shelters before the end of the year and Veterans Village is operational in Clackamas County.