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River District Navigation Center

Information
The external facade of the River District Navigation Center, a 90-bed congregate shelter at 1111 N.W. Naito Parkway

On January 1, 2024, management of the River District Navigation Center at 1111 NW Naito Pkwy transitioned to the City of Portland. The Navigation Center was previously managed by the Oregon Harbor of Hope non-profit, who oversaw the location under a sub-lease that expired at the end of 2023. To prevent the 90 individuals staying at the Navigation Center from potentially returning to living unsheltered in Portland, Mayor Wheeler directed the City to step in and maintain the location as a shelter location.  

As of January 1, 2024, the City oversees the location under a permit with Prosper Portland. Day to day management of Navigation Center operations is carried out by Transition Projects. The site offers shelter beds to up to 90 individuals, along with restrooms, laundry facilities, storage of personal items, meals, peer support, housing navigation, medical care, and a communal space. As of Nov. 2023, the congregate shelter served more than 1,200 people since opening in 2019. The average length of stay for shelter participants was 65 days. More than half were between the age of 50 and 80, and 77% identified as living with a disability.  

Transition Projects service contract is funded through a contract with Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS). Site management is overseen by both JOHS and the City’s Shelter Services Team, which oversees management of other City shelters such as Safe Rest Villages and Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites. All City shelter sites are overseen with the intention of moving individuals from a situation of street homelessness to stable housing. 

Data on the City’s shelter sites, including demographic data, average length of stay, and exits to housing, are shared on this data dashboard. Over time, the City plans to include reporting from the River District Navigation Center on this same data dashboard. 

Community members may stay informed on the progress of the River District Navigation Center, as well as other City shelter sites, by signing up for the City’s shelter services newsletter.  

The City is also working to develop and updated Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) for this location by convening a small group of volunteers. Working from the existing GNA (below), the City seeks to incorporate insights from neighbors that will help ensure the shelter fits into the community in a positive manner.  

View the GNA here: 

Please email mayorwheeler@portlandoregon.gov if you have any questions, comments or concerns.  


FAQ

Has the site been successful in addressing the homelessness crisis? 

From August 2019 to November 2023, the Navigation Center served 1,243 people. The average length of stay was 65 days. While at the site, support staff and case workers help individuals get their basic paperwork in order, connect them to public benefits like supplemental security income, and connect them to housing navigators. Out of the 1,243 people, 1 out of 5 individuals exited the shelter directly into housing during this period.   

See the following documents for additional information directly from the shelter operator, Transition Projects: 

How will the City oversee the site?  

As the City of Portland has responded to the homelessness crisis by building hundreds of shelter beds over the past years, with plans for hundreds more in the coming year, we have created a Shelter Operations team to manage our policies and efforts. The River District Navigation Center is overseen by this team and establish regular meetings to communicate policy updates, outcome metrics, maintenance issues, community feedback, and other important items.   

The City’s more direct oversight of the location will integrate issues around the Navigation Center with the City’s tools to manage livability. This includes the Street Services Coordination Center for help manage homeless outreach and response across all bureaus, the Impact Reduction Program that responds to reports of unsanctioned camps and assesses and cleans those camps in accordance under the restrictions outlined in State law and other legal agreements, and the Public Environment Management Office that helps cut through bureaucratic processes to resolve livability issues for districts throughout Portland. These efforts of these programs play out in multiple operational meetings weekly in which responses to top concerns are outlined. It remains a top concern for the City to manage unsanctioned camping around existing shelter sites, as stability and peace around those sites contributes to the effectiveness of the shelter and is a top request of surrounding communities. 

What other outreach has been done about the site? 

  • The Mayor’s staff reached out to leadership from the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, Neighbors West-Northwest, Old Town Community Association, and spoke at a December 6 public hearing hosted by DEQ.  
  • The City hosted an information meeting on December 19 to provide information and solicit questions and comments. The meeting was advertised through neighborhood channels, updates on the Mayor’s website, and approximately 12,000 mailers sent to residents of the Pearl District and Old Town.  
  • The City presented at a Prosper Portland Board Meeting on December 13, 2023, which was open to the public, to answer questions in relation to the site. 
  • The City hosted a Community Information Session on December 19, 2023 in the Portland Building. See the presentation:
  • The Mayor’s office is leading a series of meetings with neighbors of the location to review and revise the existing GNA. These meetings occur on a weekly basis and, as needed, include representatives from TPI. 

I’ve heard the site is on contaminated land. How will the City ensure the site contaminants remain unharmful?  

Working with DEQ, the City has hired a third party to create a remedial work plan to ensure the prevention of any site contamination to workers and occupants the site. This action plan will involve six month checks of the facility to ensure remediation efforts, namely the pavement cap of the land, remain in good condition. This work is coordinated by the City’s Bureau of Environmental Services and communicated with DEQ.  


What is the Oregon Harbor of Hope (OHOH)? 

OHOH is a nonprofit founded by developer Homer Williams. OHOH worked to bring the business community and its resources to the table in the fight against homelessness. Working with Harbor of Hope, Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle contributed more than $3 million of his own money toward construction of the Navigation Center. OHOH subleased the property from the City of Portland until December 31, 2023. OHOH is an example of the Portland community’s civic spirit and creativity in helping tackle one of the most challenging issues we face today. 

Can I refer someone into the River District Navigation Center? 

Referrals into the Navigation Center are managed by outreach workers on the City and County Navigation and Outreach Teams.  People with disabilities, people leaving hospitals and people who are 55 and older will have top priority for referrals. 

Additionally, to respect the neighboring community and avoid lines, the River District Navigation Center is unable to accept walk-ins. Our current referral process keeps occupancy at maximum capacity. Walk-ins are not accepted to prevent confusion and/or lines of people waiting outside the site.  

If you are seeking shelter, the best way to learn more about other shelter opportunities in the Portland area is to call 2-1-1 or visit the Joint Office of Homeless Services Shelter and Homeless Services webpage. These resources include links and contact information for shelter and service providers in the Portland area.  

The City of Portland, in conjunction with our County partners and the Joint Office of Homeless Services, prioritize efforts that help homeless individuals get off the street and into permanent housing. The City’s Street Services Coordination Center interacts daily with homeless Portlanders as they respond to reports of unsanctioned camps. During these interactions, outreach workers offer a limited number of immediately-available shelter beds, complimentary transportation to that bed with their immediate belongings, free storage for additional items, and other services.  

Individuals living unsheltered on the street and seeking help to navigate their next steps can make a request here. Please be aware this form is not designed to be an immediate/emergency response system, nor is it a guarantee of shelter, but outreach workers will attempt to make contact and help individuals navigate their next steps.