Villages for the homeless are expected to take to the streets of Portland, Oregon, early next year.
Authorities announced Thursday that the first three government-sanctioned homeless camps, dubbed “Safe Rest Village” sites by the liberal city, will be operational in early 2022.
The camps will have separate sleeping cabins equipped with electricity, heating and lockable doors. Shared bathrooms, kitchens and laundry facilities will also be installed in the villages.
Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan said Thursday that each homeless camp will house around 60 people.
Homeless people will be admitted to the camp if they are referred by first responders, social services or the homeless and park rangers.
Large-scale homeless camps have plagued Portland in recent years, with the city vowing to return in May to begin cleaning up or eliminating the ever-growing influx of tent cities.
Sites that are closed for a three-year lease are currently parking lots or commercial land.
“We wanted to make sure they were in areas where neighbors experience high levels of unrestricted camping,” Ryan said.
At least one village is being built near an international primary school – some parents are concerned about the safety of their children.
A mother told KOIN that the idea of a homeless camp from school was “disappointing.”
Another said they were concerned that mentally ill homeless people were entering the school.
She said of her worry: “If there is someone who has an episode, whether it’s mentally or on some sort of substance, then they start running or they start to take over the property. school. ”
“But I just have to be confident that the school is going to handle this in the best way that will be the safest for the students.”
Authorities plan to name three more homeless campsites in the coming months.