PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the ongoing homeless crisis in Portland reaching critical levels in recent years, it was a welcome change to hear a positive update.

City leaders held a pre-opening event on Friday, Oct. 28 to celebrate a new safe rest village in the Hazelwood neighborhood in Portland.

“This work is about saving lives.” Said Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan, “there are people who are dying on our streets almost daily who are homeless, and we need these services.”

The pre-opening event allowed stakeholders and community members a chance to walk through units built near Southeast 122nd and Burnside. City data reveals Hazelwood to be one of the more dangerous areas in Portland, and one of the aims of the village is to protect its residents.

The number of units, however, does not fully satisfy the demand, and officials said that access will initially be limited to those who are directly referred by first responders or other teams working with the homeless. No walk-up services will be available.