The Salem community's support is critical to helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. If you see a person in need:
Submit a neighborhood complaint to the City
Salem promotes safe and desirable neighborhoods for all members of our community by investigating reports of specific code violations. Staff gives priority to reports where public safety and health are at risk. Salem residents can
submit a complaint online relating to a variety of concerns including, abandoned shopping carts, abandoned vehicles, derelict and boarding buildings, health hazards, garbage, and junk removal.
Maintain a considerate attitude
The City understands it may be frustrating to see homeless people in your neighborhood, but we encourage you to treat them like anyone else. DO; make eye contact and show kindness to people without stable homes. Avoid perpetuating stereotypes, stigma, and myths. People experiencing homelessness are not defined by their housing status. It's often temporary, and it′s likely they′ve sought housing and/or shelter and there was none available.
Be deliberate about your intentions and property
Do not offer food, money, or tangible items directly to those unsheltered. Instead, consider donating these items directly to the
organizations in Salem that are equipped to manage supplies and food storage. Do not permit anyone to camp on your property, unless you have developed a trusting relationship with them. Do not permit anyone to store shopping carts or personal belongings on your property. Let people know your boundaries on your property using fencing or signs and keep the area in front of your home or property clean and well maintained. Keeping your area clean encourages others to respect the area.
Dealing with someone sleeping/loitering on your property
Politely ask them to leave using sincere empathetic language that deflects the request from yourself to a third party (e.g. the property owner asks them to leave, even if that person is you). This reduces the power-dynamic and will help in future interactions.
Let them know where they can be, such as the day room at ARCHES or Union Gospel Mission, as opposed to only where they cannot be.
If they are not cooperative, tell them you are going to call the police, but would rather not. Avoid confrontation and keep a safe distance if you feel threatened in any way. Call the non-emergency police line at 503-588-6123. If they become disruptive or dangerous call 9-1-1.
Who to call
503-588-6368, Salem Housing Authority, information about affordable housing options.
503-399-9080, ARCHES, connect people to self support resources and day use areas.
800-560-5535, Northwest Human Services Crisis Line, phone help for people in crisis.
503-588-6123, Salem Police non-emergency non-life-threatening concerns
9- 1- 1, for life-threatening or safety concerns.