What is a navigation center?
A navigation center connects people to public benefits, health services, and permanent housing using a low- barrier, walk- in model. It also provides public toilets and a place to rest and recuperate from living outdoors.
Planning for Salem's Navigation Center
A new low-barrier navigation center is in Salem's future in response to the shelter crisis. Recently, Salem City Council approved acceptance of a $5 million grant for development and operation of the project from the State of Oregon and the purchase of a property in Salem for the navigation center shelter. The navigation center will provide 50 low-barrier shelter beds with case management and access to basic needs.
Salem's navigation center will work in partnership with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, providing intensive case management to help people stabilize and connect people to additional services. The center will be based on successful
regional and national examples, drawing from local service providers and case managers.
Why is a navigation needed?
Navigation centers have shown strong success in helping people exit homelessness. Traditional shelter models require sobriety upon entry, segregate by gender, and offer limited space for personal possessions or service animals. Navigation centers help people make a first step in accessing services, allowing couples or family units to stay together and do not require sobriety for entry. Navigation centers also help reduce pressure on existing cooling and warming sites as it expands capacity throughout the hottest days and during the cold winter months.