Commissioner Ryan proposes six managed ‘safe rest villages’

Homeless

$20M proposal could be presented next week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland City Housing Commissioner Dan Ryan is proposing $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding go towards establishing six managed “safe rest villages” for homeless people in different parts of Portland.

Ryan, elected last November, is preparing an ordinance for the City Council to consider with more details, possibly including the recommended locations for the villages as early as next week.

With hopes construction can begin by August and services starting at the end of the year, Ryan said he said the goal is to “provide safe, sanitary spaces for our houseless neighbors until they can access additional wraparound services and ultimately, sustained housing.”

“These villages will be sited on land made available by the Shelter to Housing Continuum code change my colleagues and I unanimously supported at the end of April,” Ryan said in a statement Wednesday. These villages will provide laundry, hand washing stations, showers, porta potties and common areas and case management services.

On Thursday, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Commissioner Ryan announced the joint effort to address the housing crisis. Back in May, Multnomah County voters approved the Supportive Services Housing Measure. Over the next ten years, it’s projected a $1 billion will go to housing services in our region.

“Regional alignment—alongside the Metro Supportive Housing Services measure that will get 1,300 Portlanders off the street by July of next year—is the type of collaborative leadership that our community deserves as we address the housing crisis together,” said Ryan.

Ten million dollars in measure funding will go towards creating hundreds of new shelter beds.

‘The hope is beyond adding the 400 shelter beds from metro funding, beyond adding shelter beds that the city’s ARPA funding will add — we believe these funds will create 1300 new homes this fiscal year for people who are experiencing homelessness right now so its a huge effort to get more than 1000 people off the streets,” said Denis Theriault with the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

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