PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Three new Safe Rest Village sites were announced on Thursday by Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan.
Two new sites are in Southeast Portland – one at 122nd and Burnside and another near 45th and Harney Drive. The third is downtown off of SW Naito Parkway. The sites will be designated areas homeless people can stay with access to showers, bathrooms and mental health care.
“We want to make sure that they were in areas where neighbors are experiencing a high degree of unsanctioned camping,” Ryan said, adding he wants these sites to improve conditions people are seeing in their neighborhoods.
Three more sites will be announced at another time.
These areas are either currently parking lots or commercial lots and will be turned into designated managed areas where homeless people can stay with access to showers, bathrooms and mental health care.
Ryan said they will have dignity, stable living, and support services.
“The trauma of life on the streets will be reduced, allowing for healing and stability that will lead to permanent housing,” he said.
They may look like a safe park program for people living in RVs or tiny houses, like the Kenton Women’s Village. The new sites will be in addition to the 8 already existing villages.
Ryan was joined at the press conference by TriMet General Manager Sam Desue and Marc Jolin, the director of A Home for Everyone with the Joint Office of Homeless Services.
“We need to meet our houseless neighbors where they are,” Ryan said. “We are all in this together.”
The sites were chosen from a list of 70 potential sites all owned by the City of Portland. A majority of these sites are in downtown Portland or in East County. One potential location in North Portland is the Expo Center.