PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With Mayor Ted Wheeler announcing a ban on homeless camping at all public buildings next week, Safe Rest Village sites and the larger sites he’s planning across the city will become even more crucial for the city’s homeless population.
On Thursday, The City of Portland gave a first look at one of the new sites they are building in North Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood, but the construction hasn’t come without controversy.
The new site is for people 18 and older, and partners and pets are allowed. Each villager will have a locked sleeping unit that includes electricity, heat and air conditioning.
At Thursday’s event, Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan, who oversees the Safe Rest Village program, talked about why this new 60-unit site is so important.
“What we noticed was there was a missing link, people didn’t have an onramp where you could go and clearly get some rest and get some resilience built so when you get into stable housing you’d actually be stable enough to stay in that housing,” Ryan said.
During the question and answer portion of the event, one neighbor voiced his frustration at a city worker because the bathrooms were placed next to his home.
“There was virtually no outreach from the city except one young man named Jake. He was very sympathetic, but he told me he’d bring it to the superiors, but he told me he won’t be able to do nothing about it,” the neighbor said.
Neighbors also voiced frustration about the lack of communication from the city. The City said it doesn’t have a confirmed date for opening except that it will be soon.