New Tiny Home Village for Homeless in NE Portland

Northeast Portland has a new tiny home village, but this one has different rules.  It allows  people experiencing homelessness to use drugs and alcohol.   Jan McManus, with the non profit WeShine, says the reality is that for people living on the streets, “Drugs and alcohol can be part of a survival mechanism to make it.  You can’t set a bunch of extra hoops for them to go through to get off the street.”

 WeShine is running the new Parkrose Community Village, which has a low barrier to entry.  That means substance use is allowed inside each pod.  “It’s important for them to feel safe and secure,” said McManus.  Portland’s safe rest villages and other homeless shelter communities do not allow the use of drugs or alcohol on their premises.   Some even require sobriety tests.  Our news partner KGW reports there’s already a waiting list, and  four people have moved into the tiny home village so far, which is on church property.  Plans call for filling the village within three weeks.  It’ll cost about $350,000 dollars a year to operate, some of which comes from the Joint Office of Homeless Services for Portland and Multnomah County, and the rest from fundraising.  

WeShine plans to build 2-3 micro-villages each year for the next several years. They’re looking for private or public land that’s close to transportation.  The city will hold a public hearing about proposed zoning changes, next month.

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