PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan announced a new Safe Rest Village location at the Sear Armory in Southwest Portland Monday afternoon, according to a press release.
The new Safe Rest Village site, on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard, will be in an area that is currently without other shelters and will provide up to 60 pods for those experiencing houselessness, Commissioner Ryan said.
“The unprecedented City and County investment in houselessness just adopted will support these villages through our comprehensive approach, and our community engagement team will continue working to build relationships between housed and unhoused neighbors,” Ryan said.
Safe Rest Villages provide shelter, access to basic hygiene, case management, and behavioral health services to those 18 and older. According to the press release, new Safe Rest Village members are accepted by referral only from social service providers including first responders, park rangers and Portland Street Response.
Moses Ross, Chair of the Multnomah Neighborhood Association said the city notified the organization about its decision for a new Safe Rest Village site shortly before making the announcement public.
The city also committed to a communications plan with the neighborhood to make sure that as many people as possible are aware of it, especially within the sphere of influence of the armory, and to answer questions and to get feedback.
Ross looks at the locations as an opportunity for the neighborhood to have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives.
“I feel it’s really strongly embracing all of our community and if our community includes those that are homeless, that are trying to get out of homelessness through a city program personally, I’m for it,” Ross said.
However, as leader of the neighborhood association, Ross said he will represent what the majority of neighbors want.
“I’m looking forward to them vetting this plan a little bit and see how it does affect our neighborhood and our basic concerns of livability, crime, et cetera and how it can actually compliment the neighborhood instead of being a detriment to it, you know, which is certainly a fear,” Ross said.
Ross also noted that “we have to respect those neighbors that might not agree with this, and, you know, quite frankly, if the majority of the folks say that they don’t like it, that’s going to be our position.”
The neighborhood association will meet with city leaders about the project in December.
Commissioner Ryan’s Office also said they do not have a firm date for the opening of the villages.