Report Concerns About Homelessness

The Salem community's support is critical to helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. If you see a person in need:

  • Call the Crisis & Information Hotline at Northwest Human Services, 24/7 at 503-581-5535 or 1-800-560-5535

or

  • Refer people to ARCHES day use and self-support service center. ARCHES is open Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and located in downtown Salem, 615 Commercial St. NE.

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.

Contact us

City Manager’s Office
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty St SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
Use the HUD search tool to find a shelter or access a list of areas homeless shelters here. 
Find out how you can support or volunteer with a local organization to help end homelessness in our area here. 
Men, women, youth, and families with children are among the homeless in our communities. Learn more.
The City is working to answer common questions our residents may have relating to policies, assistance and housing programs. Learn more