PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland will miss a self-imposed deadline to open a series of Safe Rest Villages by the end of the year. Commissioner Dan Ryan’s office confirmed on Wednesday that the six planned sites are now expected to open in early 2022.
Ryan first outlined the plan for the villages in June. The sites are envisioned as organized camps for homeless residents, providing them with individual shelters and access to support and services. The city dedicated $20 million in federal COVID aid to fund the project.
The project has been complicated by supply chain issues, restrictions on the use of the federal funds and resistance from property owners and community members about specific site locations, according to an emailed statement from Ryan’s staff. The office has also been busy this year relocating the city’s existing “C3PO” camps ahead of planned development projects.
“Commissioner Ryan and the Safe Rest Villages team are committed to doing this right, and we have adjusted our timeline accordingly,” the office said. “We will continue work to identify the next three sites, and we will build and open each Safe Rest Village as soon as permitting and site development allows.”
Ryan’s office has struggled to identify viable candidate sites, and only three of the planned six locations have been announced so far:
- A city-owned lot on the 2300 block of SW Naito Parkway, along the west side of the street in downtown Portland
- A Trimet-owned lot, known as the “Menlo Park & Ride”, on the southeast corner of SE 122nd Avenue and East Burnside Street in East Portland
- The former SFC Jerome F. Sears Army Reserve Center on Southwest Multnomah Boulevard in Southwest Portland, which has been used as an emergency shelter in the past
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An additional site in Southeast Portland near the Springwater Corridor was announced in September along with the first two, but was pulled from the list a week later after the city discovered that it sits in a floodplain.