Safe Rest Villages are temporary, managed, outdoor shelters—not tents—that provide a place for Portlanders to sleep, basic and necessary hygiene, and access to case management and behavioral health services. Safe Rest Villages provide harm reduction. They offer case management and social service support to address the trauma of houselessness, treatment for unmet mental health needs, substance use disorders, and prepare villagers to achieve their personal goals, be they to return home / reconnect with family, to find permanent supportive housing, or to enter recovery, among other options.
These villages are managed by various contracted social service providers selected by the Joint Office of Homeless Services.
Safe Rest Villages serve as an improved point of entry for Portlanders on the continuum from living on the streets to finding stability in permanent housing. They may look like a safe park program (planned for NE Sunderland) for people living in RVs or tiny houses like Multnomah Safe Rest Village. All Safe Rest Villages include wraparound behavioral and mental health services.
Who does this program serve?
The Joint Office of Homeless Services selects contractors that manage the villages and—together with those selected contractors—works to determine the management model, the conditions of residency, and other aspects of village life. The program is open to anyone experiencing houselessness who is 18 years or older, their partners, and their pets. Entry is by referral only. Referrals are made by first responders, Park Rangers, and Portland Street Response, among other social service providers engaging with those living outside.
The City of Portland is responsible for the site selection, site development, and managing the physical assets (sleeping units, service buildings, etc.), connections to utilities, and all infrastructure. It is also responsible for community engagement and managing the ARPA grant, including reporting. The County will be selecting and managing the contracted service providers which will be managing the villages.
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 work together for everyone's safety.
As of October 2022, Multnomah Safe Rest Village is open, construction is nearly complete at Menlo Park SRV and Sunderland RV Safe Park, with the remaining sites in permit process. Construction should be completed by the end of the year. Additionally, two other culturally specific shelters have come under the umbrella of the Safe Rest Village team, and ARPA funding: the BIPOC Village and Queer Affinity Village.
Stakeholder groups representing neighborhoods and nearby interested parties have been meeting regarding each of the sites, for months. They are working to develop clear lines of communication regarding the villages, to address issues as they arise, and ensure good relations between the villages and the communities surrounding them. The project website has more details.
How is this program funded?
The City of Portland committed $16.02 million to this program in the first tranche of funding. An additional $28.1M was allocated to fund the Safe Rest Village program through the end of December 2024. This money comes from the U.S. government’s 2021 American Rescue Plan local recovery funds. Portland will receive a total of $208 million from the American Rescue Plan and has until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend it. The City of Portland is spending money in three priority categories:
- Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization
- Small Business and Commercial District Stabilization
- Community Health and Safety
Read more about these investments in this article: American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland
Who manages this program?
The City is committed to sharing how American Rescue Act funding supports Portland people, households, businesses and community organizations. Portland's ARPA Rescue Plan Open Data website shares the progress, accomplishments and results of the Safe Rest Village program, along with all other City of Portland ARPA-funded projects.
Page updated 10/25/22