New Kenton Women’s Village opens with new pods

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The new site for the Kenton Women’s Village, a transitional housing project for homeless women in Portland, opened Friday. 

Local contractors and volunteers chipped in to build 21 new tiny homes for the women to live in while they get back on their feet.

The Kenton Women’s Village used to sit a block away but moved in March for the new pods to be added.

The sleeping pods have been evolving over the years. The new ones have electricity and radiant heating and the new village has a garden and larger kitchen, bath and laundry facilities. 

“This is pretty much the exact podI I lived in except with some great improvements,” former resident Dawn Long said. “This bookshelf and the desk, this didn’t exist in the old pod.”

The 23 women who went through the initial Kenton Women’s Village Program have now moved into permanent housing. 

Several small businesses and Portland State's architecture school worked to build sleeping pods for the Kenton Women's Village on March 15, 2019. (KOIN) 

Long once lived in her car due to lack of affordable housing. Living in the Kenton Women’s Village finally allowed her to feel secure while looking for a permanent home. 

“I was working, so for me, it was essential to be able to sleep, eat well, to be able to lock my door, all things I couldn’t do in my car very well,” Long said. 

The contractors who built the new sleeping pods were part of a friendly competition called the Pod Build Challenge. 

The three winning pods were designed by SRG Partnership, Scott Edwards Architecture and a PSU architecture class. 

“Not only will it serve the women here but it’s going to provide a lot of good information for us to as we move forward with other villages,” Todd Ferry with the PSU School of Architecture said. 

Volunteers say this project is a win for the whole community. 

“Just giving back and getting women off the street and giving them a safe place to live is huge,” said Scott Bowls with BC Custom Construction. “It’s beneficial.”

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