PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — According to new data, Portland’s Safe Rest Villages provided houseless residents with 43,375 total nights of ‘safe sleep’ from July 1, 2022, to June 30 of this year.
The data comes from the City of Portland’s 2022-2023 annual report on the Safe Rest Villages program, which launched in August 2021 as a way to address unmanaged camping in the area. The program also aims to help the homeless population access permanent housing.
The report features the seven Safe Rest Villages that have been built since the launch of the program, with only five of them operating from July 2022 through June 2023.
Throughout that period, city officials found that the program served 345 residents with its 211 sleeping units. Fifty-eight percent of those residents identified as male, while 57% identified as having at least one disability and 57% identified as non-white or multi-racial.
Within that same time frame, 143 people exited the Safe Rest Villages. The report said 70 of those people left for temporary or permanent housing and, of those 70 people, 35 individuals were ‘chronically homeless.’
“This report reflects one full year of data collection from the sites in operation, roughly 50% of what we can expect next year as we move to scale,” City Commissioner Dan Ryan said in his statement. “I look forward to the day when those healing will use their life experience to give back and serve others who need an on-ramp to a stable life.”
In addition, the new report reveals the cost of the Safe Rest Villages. The City of Portland has established a $56.3 million budget to cover program expenses from 2021 to 2024. The majority of the funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.
During the most recent fiscal year, about $19.9 million went toward the villages. The Peninsula Crossing site, which opened this May as the city’s largest Safe Rest Village yet, took up the largest portion of expenses.