City Approves More Overnight Shelter for Area Homeless

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​City Council approved the placement of 20 pallet homes at a City owned property on Portland Road NE to be used as shelter for area homelessness.

The decision comes at a critical time for Salem, as the parks camping program is set to conclude this summer and the Pavilion Shelter, at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center will conclude March 31, 2021.

"This investment is an important step in achieving one of our top council priorities," said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett. "As we work together to solve Salem's homelessness issues, we must also be open to innovative solutions like the pallet shelters that have proved to be a successful and affordable solution in other cities."

The pallet shelters, which cost the City $5,000 each, are designed to accommodate single individuals and couples with electricity, warmth, and added security.

"Now, with City's Council's approval, we can begin working out the details of this managed shelter location," said Gretchen Bennett, the City's homeless liaison.

Current plans for the pallet shelter program include Church at the Park serving around the clock as the on-site shelter manager. Additional vehicle camping will also be permitted in combination with the pallet homes.

 By resolution, the City Council:

  • established basic requirements for managed camps
  • directed that managed camps not be located in a single-family residential zone
  •  provided for future agreements for on-site camp management.

For more information about the current projects the City of Salem is working on for our unsheltered populations including homeless rental assistance vouchers, financial support of area non profits and tax incentives for developers focused on low income housing developments, visit our webpages or email [email protected]  


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