Safe Rest Village in SW Portland set to open in May

After months of conversations between the city of Portland and community members in the Multnomah Village, the first of six Safe Rest Villages will start welcom
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:19 PM PDT
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PORLTAND, Ore. (KPTV)- After months of conversations between the city of Portland and community members in the Multnomah Village, the first of six Safe Rest Villages will start welcoming new residents in May.

At the site’s location on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard and Southwest 25th avenue, white shelters have been constructed. In total, 35 shelters will sit in the parking lot outside the Sears Armory, a property owned by the city. Moses Ross is the Chair of Multnomah Neighborhood Association. He has been the bridge of communication between the city and community members about the project for months.

“Man concerns have been addressed and there are some we’re still trying to figure out,” Ross said. “Mainly the vetting process and the application process for going in as a resident.”

Bryan Aptekar, the Project Communication Liaison for the Safe Rest Villages, said all the sites are low barrier entry. This means anyone who is over 18 and is experiencing homelessness can live at the sites.

“We will work with them during the time they are there to gain resiliency, to get them past the trauma of living on the streets which is incredibly stressful,” Aptekar said.

Aptekar said the non-profit All Good Northwest will manage the site. He said they have experience in managing other shelters here in Portland.

“I have a lot of confidence based of what Andy Goebel, executive director of All Good Northwest, has told us of how they plan to manage it,” Ross said. “They’ll have 24/7 staffing.”

Before all 35 shelters are filled, Ross said he’s working with the city to create a good neighbor agreement. He said this will help reassure his stakeholders the city is committed to addressing their concerns about the safe rest village.

“They’re concerned about noise, they’re concerned about crime, lighting, etc. They have very valid points and hopefully that good neighbor agreement will hopefully mitigate positively for them,” Ross said.

“Whether we have a good neighbor agreement or not, a formal signed agreement or not,” Aptekar said. “We would want to have a line of communication, giving the names and phone numbers, the front desk of the village if you will, so they can call and have issues addressed.”

Aptekar admits they were ambitious about getting all six safe rest village sites up and running. They are behind schedule, but the plan is to get three opened by the end of summer and the rest opened by the end of the year. Construction at the site in Southwest Portland is still not done.

The plan is to add a common area, hygiene stations, and other services for the resident. For Ross, he said he wants more communication from the city but he’s happy his neighborhood is helping find solutions to Portland’s homeless crisis.

“I know my neighbors have their concerns, but all in all I’m glad were contributing to a solution,” Ross said.

FOX 12 did reach out to All Good Northwest Tuesday, but they were unavailable for an interview.