PORTLAND, Ore.- Two years ago this spring, Portland city commissioners first announced interest in starting Safe Rest Villages to address homelessness.

As the city gets closer to starting its third village, KOIN 6 News has learned 72 people have found housing from the program.

The first site, Multnomah Village, opened last summer. Seven people have moved into some kind of housing there, but the city is giving people around six to nine months to find housing of some kind, so that’s in line with the city’s expectations.

“Is it as good as it good be? We all strive for better, for sure,” said Bryan Aptekar, the communications liaison of the Safe Rest Village program.

The Safe Rest Village program also oversees the BIPOC and Queer Affinitiy villages, two outdoor shelters started in response to the pandemic. Sixty-five people have found permanent housing, 40 people have moved into emergency shelters (including motels and hotel rooms), and 39 people have exited the shelter without temporary or permanent housing to move into.

Aptekar estimates it costs between $1.5-$2.5 million for each site to run each year. He estimates it costs around $1 million to create a safe rest village.

“I think everybody’s story is different. And so some people, I think the goal of all our sites is that they get into something more stable and permanent,” Aptekar said. “Not everybody that’s been living on the street is ready to move into a house on their own, or, you know, get the keys to an apartment.”

Aptekar says that could also mean substance abuse treatment facilities — into which three people have moved into.

Vancouver started an outdoor shelter program in Dec. 2021.

The city’s first Safe Stay Community finished its first year. With 40 slots, 33 people have found permanent housing.

The second village opened in April and five people out of 40 have moved into housing, which the city considers a success.

“So, I know that in such a very short period of time. They were able to kind of get some traction and gain stability and move on when they’d been sitting in a tent for two years-plus prior to that. So (it’s a) huge success for all of them,” said Vancouver Homeless Response Manager Jamie Spinelli.

A city spokesperson says both spaces cost a combined $1,722,631 in 2022.

This is just one arm of the homeless response, which also includes rental assistance and shelter space that even includes hotel and motel rooms.

A third village is scheduled to open for both Vancouver and Portland later this year. Vancouver’s is proposed to be a similar concept to the preceding two. In Portland, the third space will be for cars and RVs and an announcement is expected within a month for the opening of that space.