SALEM, Ore. — A micro-shelter project is the latest solution to get people off the streets of Salem, and so far it's a success.
About a month ago, nonprofit Church at the Park, in partnership with the city, opened several micro-shelters off Portland Road Northeast near the intersection of Bill Frey Drive.
"Recently we’ve been partnering with the city, providing micro-shelter communities for people transitioning into housing into more stable living situations from the streets," said Josh Erickson, assistant pastor with the church and nonprofit.
Each micro shelter has two beds and a table, as well as secure doors so residents can go to work without worrying about they belongings getting stolen.
The cost to build each micro-shelter is about $5,000.
Right now, there are 30 pods with 65 people living on the property, including 27 children. Seven families have already transitioned into housing or other programs after staying in the shelters.
This latest project comes on the heels of a proposed tiny house village along Wallace Road Northwest that was scrapped because the proposed site was on a flood-prone wetland.
That village was approved in September and faced mounting neighborhood backlash, as the site sat between two apartment complexes less than a quarter mile from an elementary school and retirement community.
Church at the Park is still looking for a site to replace that project.