PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The move-in date for the new Safe Rest location in Multnomah Village is expected at the end of the month, but there are mixed reactions to the opening from people in the area.
The Safe Rest location at Multnomah Village is one of six villages set to open this year. The goal of these Safe Rest Villages is to get homeless people in Portland off the streets.
One woman, Kylie, who lives in the area, said she’s mostly concerned that this village is “low-barrier” and close to a school.
“We’ve repeatedly asked that this facility be weapons-free, that it will be sober, and that there are background checks. (Commissioner) Dan Ryan won’t agree to any of that. We think that poses a risk,” she said.
There are 30 units in the Multnomah Village Safe Rest location. The city says each unit will house between one and two people.
“This is a low-barrier shelter and we’re following the joint office of homeless service model,” said Chariti Montez, houselessness strategy manager for the City of Portland.”There’s a conversation happening specific to schools and the shelters within close proximity to schools.”
Commissioner Ryan’s Office released a statement about moving forward with Safe Rest Villages.
“We are all concerned for the safety of people both in and outside of the villages, and our team has been discussing and addressing concerns with the neighbors and stakeholders for months.
One of the critical reasons for having Safe Rest Villages is to provide safe and stable environments for those living on the streets to escape the less safe life on the streets. People will be moving to these sites voluntarily, precisely to have that safety and the programs, peer support, and case management they need as they move towards housing.
All of our shelter operators will have a Code of Conduct that will be required of all program participants to address any safety or behavioral issues if they arise.
Specifically, regarding background checks, Commissioner Ryan’s leadership staff is working with representatives of the community to address specific concerns. Our conversation is focused on considerations for villages close to schools. We’re close to agreement, but would like to finish those discussions and then share the outcome.”