Hazelwood NA demands transparency and equity for Safe Rest Villages site selections!

Hazelwood NA demands transparency and equity for Safe Rest Villages site selections!

607 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
Portland City Council and

Why this petition matters

Hazelwood Neighborhood Association challenges the fairness and the competency of the Safe Rest Villages site vetting process.  We also challenge the selection of the Hazelwood site and assert that the city did not apply an equity lens when making their Hazelwood selection. 

When Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan launched his campaign for 20 Safe Rest Villages he publicly committed to an equitable and open process.  This did not happen and we no longer have confidence in the city‘s ability to deliver on the initial promise of the Safe Rest Village Concept in an equitable fashion.

Lack of Transparency 

The initial release of surplus city property/possible sites was followed by months of silence right up to surprise announcement on 10/4/2021. 
There was no outreach to any of the three preliminary sites selected. Hazelwood Neighborhood Association specifically requested a meeting with Ryan’s office on 9/21/2021, two weeks prior to the announcement which was ignored. 
Even after the announcement – despite repeated public assurances that he would work with communities chosen for a Safe Rest Village, Ryan has agreed only to a closed meeting with HNA Board members, effectively excluding the rest of the community from any direct engagement with his office, including homeless residents.

Vetting, staffing and funding – it would appear there’s been very little due diligence throughout the process.  Instead the commissioner made an announcement without staffing and funding in place and without thoroughly vetting the potential locations... Examples cited below:

One of the sites originally selected has already been removed because it’s in a flood plain.  This is information can be found by anyone on Portland Maps.
The Park and Ride site at 122nd Ave was selected despite the site is located next to an existing homeless facility and less than a ¼ of mile from another facility.
The Park and Ride site at 122nd Ave was selected despite that particular corner being arguably one of the most dangerous locations in the city.  There is nightly gunfire and frequent car violence.  In the past year there have been four homicides at the  corner and multiple vehicular related accidents and injuries
Ryan has admitted that the city has not secured operators or staffing for the any of the shelters.

Multnomah County Chair Kafoury announced in the press the county will not fund these villages past 2024, and it appears that the county has not pledged specific funding for behavioral health teams to work at the safe rest villages, but instead is encouraging the city to work within existing county funding to use those services at the villages. 


It is inherently unfair to site another shelter in Hazelwood, which is already home to two homeless facilities with a third facility less than a ¼ mile down the street in the Mill Park Neighborhood, when there are 72 neighborhoods currently without a shelter.
Adding this site means 410 homeless individuals would be living in close proximity within an eight block area reeling from store closures in a neighborhood already stretched thin for resources.
It defies logic that cities officials would consider it fair or equitable to locate three shelters in one of the most resource-challenged, diverse, high density neighborhoods in the city while exempting huge swaths of single family residential neighborhoods in closer proximity to better economic opportunities and amenities.
This selection perpetuates the socio-economic segregation, fueled by city policies that have turned downtown into a playground for the rich and made close-in neighborhoods inaccessible to the working class and working poor residents of Portland. It’s a continuation of the same city practices implemented in 2016 that successfully shifted the majority of homeless services and shelter beds out of downtown - pushing vulnerable populations to the outskirts of the city.
Therefore we can only conclude Hazelwood was selected because it seemed likely to lack the resources to challenge city officials and it was politically expedient.

Hazelwood NA will not support the Park and Ride site selection at 122nd Ave.  We refuse to take part in the city’s overt and ongoing attempts to migrate homeless residents further from the city core and further out of sight.  This is a city-wide problem and therefore solutions to house people living on the streets should be applied equally across the city.  We’re asking residents of Hazelwood to sign this petition and submit comments and questions for Commissioner Ryan.

607 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!