Hillsboro Opens Safe Rest Pod Village

Photo: Ford, Brad

The Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue in Hillsboro are now open to provide safe sleeping spaces and support services to 30 to 40 individuals experiencing homelessness.

As of October 21, 2022, this shelter is officially opening its doors to welcome guests to move in. The temporary site meets critical community needs, mitigates unmanaged camping and connects people experiencing homelessness to permanent housing options. As the operator of the temporary shelter, Open Door HousingWorks is providing mental health, housing navigation and employment support for guests with 24/7 onsite staff with training in trauma-informed care and safety. The newly installed “Conestoga Hut” style pods offer each guest their own living space, with showers, Wi-Fi and pet relief areas all available on-site.

The City of Hillsboro purchased the property at SW 17th Avenue and TV Highway to create a future Year-Round Shelter with operations funded by the Washington County allocation of the Supportive Housing Services measure. As the Year-Round Shelter project continues to be designed, this short-term use addresses the urgent need without impacting the future project’s timeline.

“Our organization has taken a boots-on-the-ground approach to support our most vulnerable community members with outreach workers, housing case managers, an active day center, winter shelter operations and now operations for the Safe Rest Pods,” said Open Door HousingWorks Director Jeremy Toevs. “We see the need every day and know that this is going to make a huge difference in the lives of many of the people we support.”

“We are grateful to work with community partners and quickly stand-up temporary life-saving shelter at the property on SW 17th Avenue,” Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway said. “The Safe Rest Pods will address an urgent need while planning and design for the site’s Year-Round Shelter are still underway.”

Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington said, “For just over 30 people these pods open at a critical time, providing shelter from the elements before winter, and an opportunity to move towards permanent housing, the solution to homelessness. Already, Washington County has stood up over 100 year-round shelter beds, with additional temporary and winter options coming online shortly. The next step is giving these community members every opportunity to connect to permanent housing.”

Commissioner Jerry Willey shares, “I am proud of both the speed and agility with which Washington County has pivoted to address this crisis head on. Our partnership with the City of Hillsboro shows our commitment to working across jurisdictions to address homelessness and help our vulnerable community members get inside.”

Source: Washington County

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