PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Clackamas County is celebrating the opening of a new village for homeless veterans.
The Veterans Village is made up of mall wooden pods that resemble tiny homes. The goal of the village is to get vets off the street just in time for winter.
The wooden pods were designed by Portland State University students and built with old trusses from the Pickathon Music Festival.
“They built stages with these trusses, then we de-constructed the trusses and used them to design these unique living pods,” said Kevin Ko, Community Development Manager for Clackamas County.
They will have battery powered lights installed and folks will share a communal kitchen and shower area toward the front of the property.
The village, which is tucked away behind an industrial area off SE 115th, took about two years to plan and build.
The village will be staffed about 10 hours a day by members of the non-profit Do Good Multnomah, but residents will be encouraged to maintain the kind of community they want to live in. The hope is to transition vets into better housing within a 6 month timeframe.
“We want to move them into permanent, supportive housing from here but at least what happens here is we are able to get them in a place where we can provide services for them,” Ko said.
Chris Aiosa with Do Good Multnomah said they want to mitigate some barriers to permanent housing and help with that transition.
“It’s time for us to take care of them and give back to them make sure their needs are met and they are able to experience the liberty, and the freedoms and successes the rest of us enjoy,” Aiosa said.
County spokesperson Emily Klepper said there will be a 2-year limit for residents to stay at the Veterans Village because of that goal for it to be transitional housing. Klepper said in 2016, there were at least 85 homeless veterans counted in Clackamas County. They hope to eventually house 30 people at the Veterans Village.
“We really hope to put a big dent in that number,” Klepper said.