Safe Rest Village in southwest Portland is set to open in May

PORLTAND, Ore. (KPTV) — After months of conversations between the City of Portland and community members in the Village of Multnomah, the first of six Safe Rest Villages will begin welcoming new residents in May.

At the site location on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard and Southwest 25th Avenue, white shelters were constructed. A total of 35 shelters will be set up in the parking lot outside Sears Armory, a city-owned property. Moses Ross is the president of the Multnomah Neighborhood Association. He has been the communication bridge between the town and community members about the project for months.

“The men’s concerns have been resolved and there are some that we are still trying to understand,” Ross said. “Mainly the verification process and the application process to enter as a resident.”

Bryan Aptekar, the project’s communications liaison for Safe Rest Villages, said all sites are low barrier to entry. This means anyone over the age of 18 who is homeless can live on the sites.

“We will work with them while they are there to build resilience, to overcome the trauma of living on the streets, which is incredibly stressful,” Aptekar said.

Aptekar said the nonprofit All Good Northwest will manage the site. He said they had experience running other shelters here in Portland.

“I have a lot of confidence based on what Andy Goebel, executive director of All Good Northwest, told us about how they plan to handle it,” Ross said. “They will have staff 24/7.”

Before all 35 shelters were filled, Ross said he was working with the city to create a good neighbor agreement. He said this would help reassure his stakeholders that 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 this good neighbor agreement will mitigate them positively,” Ross said.

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

Aptekar admits they were ambitious and set up the six safe rest village sites. They are late, but the plan is to open three by the end of the summer and the others by the end of the year. Construction at the southwest Portland site is still not complete.

The plan is to add a common area, hygiene stations and other services for the resident. For Ross, he said he wants more communication with 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 overall I’m happy to have helped bring about a solution,” Ross said.

FOX 12 reached out to All Good Northwest on Tuesday, but they weren’t available for an interview.

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