PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Months after Portland’s first Safe Rest Village opened in the southwest near Multnomah Village, KOIN 6 is getting an idea of its progress and how neighbors are stepping in.
In the four months since the Multnomah Safe Rest Village opened, those operating it say it’s at capacity with some already benefitting from services — including having at least four people transitioned into permanent housing and five people in the last month gaining employment.
This news from the Safe Rest Village comes as encampments have also started to pop up in the surrounding area along Interstate 5 and Barbur Boulevard as some neighbors tell KOIN 6.
During Tuesday night’s Multnomah Neighborhood Association meeting, a Portland police representative says they’re aware of the camps, especially the larger encampment taking shape at 26th and Barbur, and says while trailers have been moved out from the underpass, their Neighborhood Response Team is keeping an eye on its growth.
However, what most neighbors brought up during the meeting was how they could help — from bringing in donations and preparing the village for the colder, rainy months, to referring those in need from encampments into the village.
“There is a young couple that I would love to help find a place to go to because they don’t know where they’re going right now,” one neighbor mentioned during the meeting.
According to Devon Hoyt with All Good Northwest, the non-profit managing the village, neighbors are not able to refer people to the village as those come directly from the Joint Office of Homeless Services and other transition teams working with those on the streets.
The Multnomah Village location was Portland’s first Safe Rest Village to open in June. Designed to keep people off of the streets, this particular site has 30 units that can house between one to two people, and includes showers, bathrooms, cooking spaces and social services — like finding housing and employment.
KOIN 6 has reached out to officials behind Safe Rest Village about the growing encampments nearby and if they’re related to the Multnomah Safe Rest Village, as well as neighbor requests for how they can help, but because of how late the neighborhood meeting wrapped, they have not yet been able to respond.