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Friday, April 29, 2022

Updates from the Safe Rest Village Program

Commissioner Ryan, Oregon State Representatives Dacia Grayber and Lisa Reynolds, and the Safe Rest Villages team visited the Multnomah Village on Monday to review the site's progress.
About the Safe Rest Village (SRV) Newsletter
Welcome to our first SRV newsletter!

Since Commissioner Ryan proposed the concept of Safe Rest Villagesmanaged outdoor shelters with services—in the spring of 2021, Portlanders have been asking questions, offering suggestions of possible locations, and learning about this new program that will help our unhoused neighbors build resilience. 

The SRV team has been working since Labor Day 2021 to identify Village locations, engage the community, and secure shelter operators through the Joint Office of Homeless Services. Commissioner Ryan and the SRV team have conducted extensive outreach to housed neighbors, elected officials, community stakeholders, and more. The SRV team has created a project website, which we’ve updated with pages for each site as we’ve announced them.

This newsletter is another way for us to share answers to some of our most frequent questions
and to learn more about how the Villages are working once they open.

Who is this newsletter for?

The SRV newsletter is for anyone who has questions about or wants to stay informed about the Safe Rest Village program, progress, and happenings. We anticipate interest from neighbors, community members, and groups surrounding each site. Nowin our early days of site developmentwe’ll share information about what is happening at each Village and how our team is working to create a trauma-informed, compassionate response to houselessness. 

Do you have friends, family, and neighbors who want to stay in the know about Safe Rest Villages? 

If you want to share this newsletterplease do! Forward it to your network and let them know they can subscribe too.
Subscribe to the Safe Rest Villages Newsletter
Project Updates
The Multnomah Village site will see more activity in the coming weeks, before a May 2022 opening.
Shelter Operators:

Our partners at the Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) 
have been busy! The Joint Office manages shelter operatorsthe non-profit service providers who will operate the villages. The SRV team is working with the Joint Office to help a recently certified pool of shelter operators understand the SRV program. Discussions continue, and forthcoming announcements of new shelter operators will happen soon.

Regardless of the shelter operator, our villages share commonalities regarding how they will work. Villagers can enter with a low barrier
and, we have expectations to build their resilience so they can enter the next steps of the housing continuum at a higher barrier setting. 

Already announced Shelter Operators:

Portland State Publishes Milestone Study on Tiny Home Villages:

Portland State University (PSU) published an important resource evaluating alternative shelter villages last month. The two-year study profiled six existing villages in Portland, and evaluated villager satisfaction, documented neighborhood concerns surrounding villages, and provides insight into best practices. The study predates the Safe Rest Village program and therefore didn’t include any SRVs, but their findings offer valuable insights as we work to open our first SRV next month.  

The Village Research and How-To Guide from PSU's Homelessness Resource and Action Collaborative (HRAC) included these helpful findings (among others).
  • 86% of villagers were largely or very satisfied with their pod, 69% were satisfied or very satisfied with their village, 79% were satisfied or very satisfied with their neighborhood.
  • Most neighbors who reported concerns at first did not have concerns after living near a village.
Read PSU's Homelessness Resource & Action Collaborative Report

Site-Specific Updates:
Multnomah SRV
  • 30 sleeping units have been built.
  • Trenching to place utilities for the shared restroom, shower, laundry, and kitchenette facilities will start next week.
  • Our goal is to have the Multnomah Village ready for move-in by the end of May.
  SE Reedway SRV
  • Site surveys have been completed.
Menlo Park SRV
  • The fence has gone up at this site.
  • The site plan was finalized with our partners at Cultivate Initiatives, the Menlo Park shelter operators. 
Sunderland RV Safe Park
  • Site surveys have been completed.
Peninsula Crossing Trail SRV
  • Site surveys have been completed.
NW Naito SRV
  • Site surveys and DEQ report have been ordered.
Queer Affinity Village (new location)
  • 35 sleeping units have been built.
  • We have an address now! The new address is: 2185 SW Naito Parkway.
  • Trenching and installation of utilities will be happening soon.
  • Queer Affinity residents will begin moving into their new village sometime in May.
Frequently Asked Questions: SRV Budget
The SRV team gets many questions about our budget. Here, we explain our budget numbers and put them in context.

Where does the money come from?

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided a federal grant to the City of Portland for a range of projects with one priority area being Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization. ARPA funds are for 3 years, through Dec. 2024.

How much is the SRV budget?

City Council allocated $16.02M to the Safe Rest Village program in the first round of ARPA dollars, as one of the projects within that priority area of Houselessness Response and Household Stabilization.

What about the future?

The Streets to Stability ARPA Round 2 Decision Package requested an additional $28.1M to fund the Safe Rest Village program through the end of December 2024.

The SRV team presented at a City Council budget work session on March 29 to provide program updates and to explain the request for continued funding for the next two years of the program. If you really want to get into the weeds, check out that budget session. It’s really informative and shows how the SRV program fits in the housing continuum with the Portland Housing Bureau and Joint Office of Homeless Services programs. 

How is the budget broken down?

Capital Costs range for each site depending on the conditions (size of lot, raw land vs. paved/graveled lot, fencing length, proximity to utilities, access points, environmental remediation required, etc.).
  • Site development – site leveling, permits, trenching, utility connections, fencing, etc.$350,000-$500,000 per site.
  • Communal service structuresrestrooms with showers, laundry, kitchenettes, on-site management office, social spaces$130,000-$200,000 per site.
  • Sleeping units/pods—pods range from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on unit and vendor. 60 pods per site would range from $600,000 to $1,500,000. (Not needed at RV Safe Park).
Program Costs will range as well, based on the shelter operator and the number of sleeping units and Villagers served at a given site. This cost is generally budgeted to be $1.5M per site, per year. Program costs include all staffing by the shelter operator, costs for related support services (mental and behavioral health, peer support), village operations, food, materials, supplies, etc. The funds for programming will be passed through to the JOHS, who will oversee the shelter operator contract for each Safe Rest Village.

Ongoing Operational Costs include leases/rent, electricity, garbage, water, and sewer, which will be kept in the City’s name and paid for by the SRV program. Again, these range by site.

How does that compare to other types of shelters/services?

This is the important question
putting costs in context with other programs and similar services. We recognize standing up and running shelters is costly. We also firmly believe that providing temporary outdoor shelters with services and support is an important and necessary part of the mix of options for people in need. City Council has unanimously supported this approach and the Safe Rest Village program. 
  • Congregate shelter$20,000-$25,000 per bed per year.
  • Village style alternative/outdoor shelter$30,000-$35,000 per unit per year.
  • Motel shelter$40,000 per room per year.
It is important to note that most congregate shelters just offer a bed for the night and do not offer wraparound services. Motel shelters often offer supportive services. Safe Rest Villages will offer vital supportive services that build resilience. 

How many unhoused people will be served by Safe Rest Villages?

Safe Rest Villages are short-term shelters. We anticipate the average stay will be 6-9 months
during which time we assess Villagers' needs and help them on their path to permanent housing300 shelter units across six Safe Rest Villages will serve 1050-1575 Villagers by the end of December 2024.
Get In Touch!
Reach the Safe Rest Village team at
Questions, comments, concerns
all are welcome.
Safe Rest Village website Safe Rest Village website
Locations (links on this page to each SRV site) Locations (links on this page to each SRV site)
Safe Rest Village team Safe Rest Village team
Copyright © |2022|City of Portland - Office of Commissioner Dan Ryan| All rights reserved.

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For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-4078, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711.

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Our mailing address is:
Safe Rest Village Program
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 240
Portland, OR 97204

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