Tracking Progress on Homelessness Efforts

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Addressing homelessness in Salem is a top priority for the community and the City Council. Here you will find weekly statistics and details about the calls we receive and the efforts being made. You can also explore the City's other housing and shelter information.

Enter your concern about illegal camps or garbage piles

What's happening

Week of October 18, 2021

  • Cascades Gateway Park Clean-up Continues.  250 Cubic Yards of debris was removed last week from the forested areas east and west of Mill Creek. This work continues this Thursday. 
  • Reports Portal.  We received 37 complaints this past week.  We've been able to refer our service partners to several sites that were new.  The majority of complaints are associated with activity occurring on private property or adjacent to freeways, which is owned by the State of Oregon.  
    • Private Property. We are providing information to private property owners regarding resources.
    • State of Oregon Property. Our coordination with Oregon Department of Transportation is ongoing. We are helping to share information with nonprofit and public sector service providers prior to  ODOT-led clean ups – anticipated upcoming clean ups include this coming Monday at the Marion Street/Center Street bridges and Front Street Bypass – another location anticipated but without a set date asyet is at Indian School Road and Chemawa, where ODOT is coordinating notice and clean-up with Oregon State Patrol.  Other sites are planned for posting in late October, with clean-up scheduled for November.
    • Other areas.  For some of the other areas, where the City could be the lead responder, cleaning resources may not be available until the Cascades Gateway clean up is complete.
  • Site Search. We appreciate the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Salem Leadership Foundation for hosting conversation about microshelter sites  and are grateful for the number of people coming forward with location selections. We seek ¾ of an acre (or more) of flat non-wet land to consider for the placement of managed microshelter communities. If it is not currently in use, it is likely we are studying the possibility of its use to help meet our sheltering crisis.
    • 13th and Rural.  The City is gathering information regarding a piece of open property currently on the market for sale at the corner of 13th and Rural in SE Salem. Community outreach and site feasibility research is underway.
    • Wallace. We are continuing conversations with area residents about site possibilities in West Salem and are awaiting further information regarding the grassland portion of this parcel. A wetland delineation study was ordered and we anticipate data by the end of the month.

Week of October 11,  2021

  • Portland and Kale Encampment.  Last week, navigators and street outreach partners were on site at the Portland/Kale Road area camp to help encourage campers to connect with other temporary shelter. Clean up occurred Thursday morning and the site was returned to the private property owner for future development.

  • Cascades Gateway Park Clean Up Continues. Work continues  in the forested areas east and west of Mill Creek through October. When complete, staff will turn to the more remote, forested areas of Wallace Marine Park.

  • Tracking and Responding to Camping Complaints. Staff are building a method to respond directly to individual complaints of camping within our community. Currently, complaints are coming into a multiple places, making it difficult to respond consistently, track the volume for a particular location, and share information about ongoing efforts in a particular area.

  • Updates on Shelter Sites:

    • The Windows to the West site at 500 Commercial Street SE block will revert to City use. The site’s size and slope make is unsuitable for sheltering use.

    • The Wallace site is in feasibility review, with no firm timeline for its use as sheltering with a preference for older women at the site.

    • At the Catholic Community Services site, safe park is up and running. Pallet shelters are added as they become available. The plan is to open indoor sheltering location for warming.

    • At the Hawthorne Avenue NE hotel program, Community Action Agency targets completing renovations and open the first floor November 1.

    • At 2640 Portland Road, the indoor shelter site for 20-25 individuals opened October 1.

The Yaquina Hall property transfer to Salem Housing Authority is scheduled to close on November 18. This property will add 52 one-bedroom affordable housing units, with 20% to those with serious or persistent mental illness provided wraparound services.

Week of October 4,  2021

  • Portland and Kale Encampment.  Last week, navigators and street outreach partners were on site at the Portland/Kale Road area camp to help encourage campers to connect with other temporary shelter.  Clean up occurred Thursday morning and the site was returned to the private property owner for future development.
  • Cascades Gateway Park Clean Up Continues.  Work continues  in the forested areas east and west of Mill Creek through October.  When complete, staff will turn to the more remote, forested areas of Wallace Marine Park.
  • Tracking and Responding to Camping Complaints.  Staff are building a method to respond directly to individual complaints of camping within our community.  Currently, complaints are coming into a multiple places, making it difficult to respond consistently, track the volume for a particular location, and share information about ongoing efforts in a particular area.
  • Updates on Shelter Sites:
    • Windows to West site at 500 Commercial St SE block will revert to City use.  The site's size and slope make is unsuitable for sheltering use.
    • Wallace site is in feasibility review, with no firm timeline for its use as sheltering with a preference for older women at the site.
    • At the Catholic Community Services site, safe park is up and running.  Pallet shelters are added as they become available.  The plan is to open indoor sheltering location for warming.
    • At the Hawthorne Ave. NE hotel program, Community Action Agency targets completing renovations and open the first floor November 1.
    • At 2640 Portland Road, the indoor shelter site for 20-25 individuals opened October 1.
    • The Yaquina Hall property transfer to Salem Housing Authority is scheduled to close on 11/18.  This property will add 52 one bedroom affordable housing units, with 20% to those with serious or persistent mental illness provided wraparound services.

Week of September 27,  2021

  • Portland and Kale Encampment.  This week, navigators will be on site at the Portland/Kale Road area camp.  Along with our street outreach partners, Salem Housing Authority will be encouraging campers to connect with other temporary shelter in advance of clean-up crews' arrival on Thursday morning. Resource and referral continues to be provided. There are about 84 vehicles in the area.
  • Cascades Gateway Park Clean Up Continues.  Staff expect to continue clean up through October, on the once-a-week pace within available resources.  Staff made significant progress on the east side of Mill Creek.  Work will continue in the forested areas east and west of Mill Creek throughout next month.  When complete, staff will turn to the more remote, forested areas of Wallace Marine Park.
  • Bicycle Repair Kits.  Staff are working with local bicycle shops to provide free bike repair kids to those living unsheltered in our community, particularly youth.  In some cases, bicycles may be the only available form of transportation to unsheltered youth.
  • Tracking and Responding to Camping Complaints.  Staff are building a method to respond directly to individual complaints of camping within our community.  Currently, complaints are coming into a multiple places, making it difficult to respond consistently, track the volume for a particular area, and share information about ongoing efforts in a particular area.

Week of September 20,  2021

  • At their September 27 meeting, the City Council will be asked to consider a new micro shelter site at a city-owned portion near the Wallace Park-n-Ride, a part of 2700 Wallace Road NW. 
  •  Conversations continue with property owners regarding potential siting for additional sheltering.
  •  Clean up at Cascades Gateway Park continues. 
  •  Other sheltering updates:
    • Throughout Salem, there are several scattered sites of smaller encampments with smaller amounts of trash. 
    • Portland Road/Kale property manager posted "no trespass" at site.  Further action at the site is pending property owner request to enforce trespass.  Navigators continue to encourage people to find alternate locations for shelter.  The property owner has not authorized camping in the area.
    • For our new site under the management of Church @ the Park, 3749 Portland Road, 30 micro shelters are being constructed; safe park services opened.
    • Construction is underway and first floor at ARCHES hotel site targets opening November 1. 

Week of September 14,  2021

  • Lancaster/Sunnyview.  We see an increase in camping at this location. Street outreach and navigator teams are connecting with those there to refer to alternative locations as this is not an approved location for sheltering. 
  • Portland Road/Kale.  Friday, site manager at property posted "no trespass" at site.  Further action at the site is pending property owner request to enforce trespass.  Navigators continue to encourage people to find alternate locations for shelter.  The property owner has not authorizing camping in the area.
  • Clean up work is ongoing at Cascades Gateway Park and Wallace Marine Park.
  • Other sheltering updates:

    • For our new site under the management of Church @ the Park, 3749 Portland Road, 30 micro shelters are being constructed; safe park services opened.
    • Construction is underway and first floor at ARCHES hotel site targets opening November 1.
    • Union Gospel Mission  is open and has shelter space available.
    • Weather changes may change people movements.
  • You can adopt a micro-shelter!
    • Learn more about micro-shelters at an event at the Riverfront Park Pavilion on Friday, September 17, from 2 – 7 pm, Saturday, September 18, from 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday, September 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature samples of micro-shelters as part of an effort to encourage people to "adopt a shelter." The event is about showing the shelters and answering questions from passersby.
    • Learn more about micro-shelters in Salem.

Week of September 7, 2021

  • Downtown sidewalks
    • Liberty Rd. NE sidewalks retained cleanliness after having underwent sanitation and graffiti abatement earlier in the month
    • Marion Parkade sidewalks, adjacent to the parking garage, receive ongoing cleaning and sanitation
  •  Garbage removal from Cascades Gateway Park
    • Last Thursday September 2nd, a total of 180 cubic yards of garbage and debris (2 40 yard drop boxes, 2 garbage truck loads, 5 yards of metal) was removed from the park– that is equal to 15 heavy dump truck loads of garbage and debris
    • Cleaning at Cascades Gateway Park resumes this Thursday, September 9, working western and along the western side of Mill Creek.
  • Working toward solutions at other locations
    • Tents and improvised camp sites at the corner of Portland Road and Kale Road are not authorized by the property owner. We appreciate the efforts of community partners working with those who are there to find alternative solutions.
    • We are at work to identify solutions to successfully conclude shelter activity at this location.

Contact us

City Manager's Office
555 Liberty St SE RM 220
Salem OR 97301
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