What’s happening with the former RV dealership at 333 S.E. 82nd Ave.?
The Joint Office of Homeless Services is converting the property at 333 S.E. 82nd Ave. into a "safe park" village for people living in passenger vehicles (not RVs). The site will provide services and a safe place to sleep for people experiencing homelessness who live in vehicles.
Nonprofit provider Straightway Services will provide on-site, 24/7 services. The site will be fenced and will be available through reservations. Participants will have on-site access to trash service, showers, restrooms, laundry, a kitchenette and housing services and supports.
The safe park model, which pairs a secure place to park vehicles with on-site services and housing supports, has been successfully deployed in other parts of the country and is becoming a model used for alternative shelters in Multnomah County.
This site is part of an overall shelter expansion funded by Multnomah County and the Joint Office. The Joint Office’s shelter expansion work is part of its housing-first — but not housing-only — strategy for addressing homelessness that centers housing paired with wraparound services, while still building out short-term shelter options. Since 2020, the Joint Office has opened 17 shelters in the community, including alternative shelter options like the nearby Beacon Village.
What will the safe park site provide?
The site will offer:
- A safe, managed place for Portlanders experiencing vehicular homelessness to park and utilize their personal vehicles (not RVs) as temporary living spaces on their paths to housing.
- Support addressing basic needs, including hygiene services, case management and housing navigation.
- Access to treatment for unmet behavioral health needs.
- Reduced impact for neighbors currently experiencing unsanctioned vehicular camping in their community.
- Full staffing with security fencing — only participants and their registered guests will be allowed to enter the village.
- Locations for communal gathering,a kitchenette, and yet-to-be-determined site amenities (e.g., raised bed gardens or mini-libraries).
- Opportunities for participants to build community with the surrounding neighborhood.
The site will NOT be:
- A place for unsanctioned camping.
- A permanent housing location. This village is an alternative shelter and will support the transition to permanent housing or permanent supportive housing programs.
- A self-managed site. This village will be managed by nonprofit provider Straightway Services. Participants will have the opportunity to directly shape and guide the community they build together.
When will the site open?
The site will open in 2023, exact date to be determined. Construction, including the demolition of the dealership building, must be completed before the site can open.
The village could open and begin accepting participants as soon as construction is completed. Updates will be provided to community organizations as those milestones come closer.
Will there be community engagement as the plan advances?
Yes. The Joint Office is actively in conversations with neighborhood and business groups in Montavilla and the 82nd Avenue corridor, and will continually share information with the community about the developing plan, along with donation and volunteer engagement opportunities.
This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
Who will be managing the site?
The Joint Office is currently developing a contract with nonprofit provider Straightway Services. Some programming details and specifics will be determined only after the contract is finalized.
Straightway Services is a culturally specific provider focused on serving Black communities. While the site will not be focused on serving a particular population, contracting with culturally specific providers helps ensure our services meet the needs of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities and other historically underserved populations.
How will this alternative style shelter be an asset for the community?
Like any site, whether commercial, residential, or industrial, alternative shelters must be well-run to succeed, not just for their neighbors but for their participants.
We hold our operators to high standards and support them to ensure their success. The Joint Office has opened dozens of shelters since 2016, in neighborhoods ranging from the Pearl District to Mill Park, including motels, villages and traditional congregate shelters. Some are in commercial districts among businesses, others are in residential neighborhoods, and others are close to schools and parks.
While it’s common for neighboring businesses and residents to be hesitant about a new shelter opening in their neighborhood, many end up celebrating and supporting the shelter sites once they are operational.The Joint Office believes that just because someone has lost their housing, they shouldn’t have to lose their community, too. We’re grateful for the many neighbors who welcome shelter participants into their communities.