KNA Board Refers Extension of KWV to the Neighborhood

Last Wednesday, the KNA Board unanimously voted to refer the question of extending the Kenton Women’s Village (KWV) beyond the initial one-year duration to a neighborhood vote at the next General Meeting in June.

While the city-owned land used for the KWV remains under contract to be sold to Transition Projects Inc (TPI) to build low-income housing, that development is running about 6 months behind schedule, allowing the opportunity for the KWV to extend its operation. The KNA Board intends for neighbors to consider approving up to another year of the KWV in case TPI experiences additional delays.

However, before finalizing plans to go past the current June closing date, project organizers for the KWV have vowed to only continue on with Kenton neighborhood support.

Since the next General Meeting won’t be held until June 13th, the KNA Board also granted a conditional extension for the KWV to occupy the site for 3 additional months in case the neighborhood votes against continuing the project. This would allow Catholic Charities, who manages the KWV, to continue normal operations until the neighborhood vote with time to wind down the project if the vote fails.

All persons that are 18 and over and live, lease, rent and/or own any real property within Kenton are eligible to participate in a neighborhood vote. Details of the June 13th vote have not yet been established but will be sent out to all neighbors via electronic methods, the hand-delivered Kenton Connect and possibly by US mail.

Kenton neighbors voted 178 to 75 in favor of the project last year, approving the transitional women’s shelter pilot program for a year. So far, the KWV, which can house up to 14 women, has helped about a dozen residents transition to permanent housing since opening last June.


PBOT Looking at Protected Bike Lane on N Denver

As part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Fixing Our Streets program, the city had pegged N Denver from N Lombard to N Watts for repaving. While the repaving was previously announced, PBOT has recently started to look at re-configuring this stretch of N Denver with a protected bike lane after it’s repaved.

Similar to that of SW Broadway at Portland State University, this would entail moving parked cars off the curb to place a protected bike lane between the parked cars and the curb. In the process, some parking would be lost as well as the center lane, but the pedestrian crossing islands would remain.


Last Friday, PBOT went door-to-door between N Lombard and N Watts on N Denver and spoke with roughly 35 people at 20 addresses, finding most neighbors enthusiastic about the project.

The proposal is still being finalized, and PBOT is continuing to evaluate the project. Neighbors can direct questions, comments and concerns to Michael Serritella,, and Mychal Tetteh, PBOT will be attending the North Portland Land Use Group meeting on March 22nd, 7pm, at the Historic Kenton Firehouse and the KNA meeting on April 11th, 7pm, at the Historic Kenton Firehouse. They also plan on conducting an open house in April to go over the proposal with neighbors once it is finalized.

REACH CDC Kenton Project Update for March

Although we had a positive meeting with Prosper Portland and REACH CDC last month and appreciate everyone’s willingness to engage with us, we weren’t able to establish much for a viable option to restore the commercial space to the development of TriMet’s property at 2133 N Argyle.

We had hoped Prosper Portland could help reduce the funding gap, but REACH CDC would have be able to pay prevailing wages first before Prosper Portland could add any support—a chicken-before-the-egg situation.

Ultimately, the decision was made to petition the TriMet Board to assist with finding a solution like maybe doing a land lease over selling the property to REACH CDC. So far, those efforts haven’t warranted a response.

REACH CDC is continuing to move forward with the project without commercial and is preparing to submit their land use application to the city.  They are still awaiting some funding awards tied to the housing component, so it’s not completely a go yet. The KNA is looking at having them attend our May meeting.

As for action items, neighbors can contact the TriMet Board directly to support the position of the KNA Board. I was also looking at the next meeting of the N/NE Oversight Committee as another action item, but REACH CDC didn’t end up being on agenda for this month.

If you have any questions, concerns, etc., please contact us.

Tyler Roppe

KNA Chair

Previous coverage:

REACH CDC’s Kenton Housing Development No Longer Mixed-Use

Neighbors Voice Concern about REACH CDC’s Development

Updates on REACH CDC’s Project at 2133 N Argyle St

Kenton Women’s Village Newsletter for March

All the women and volunteers at Kenton are keeping busy this season! From advocacy to concerts and new Villagers to new apartments… Read on to see what’s happening at KWV.
Oregon Symphony performers, Sarah Kwak and Nancy Ives will be performing at the Historic Kenton Firehouse on March 8th at 7:00pm. This performance is free and open to the public.  Thank you, performers and Historic Kenton Firehouse!
Villagers Advocating for Affordable Housing in Salem

On February 15 Kenton Women’s Village current resident and past resident joined Catholic Charities Peer Support Specialists, Cherie Hadley and Laura Blaney, for a visit to the State Legislature to advocate for housing for homeless and low-income people. The group met with State Senator Kathleen Taylor, Representative Karin Power, and Representative Rob Nosse’s Chief of Staff with a focus on a bill to fund homelessness programs, affordable housing and help provide access to homeownership. The effort was part of Housing Opportunity day where over 60 stakeholders received lobbying training and fanned out in small groups to meet with legislators.

Blanket donations help the villagers stay warm on snowy nights
The Village is staying warm despite the winter wonderland. A thank you to the Portland Women’s Club for the homemade blankets! While we are fairly warm, we will always accept donations of hats, socks, scarves, blankets and gloves. The warning shelters across the county are looking for these items too if we are too far to drive on the icy roads!
Want to help? Sponsor a villager who needs or a new apartment welcome home kit!:
Community Partnerships at work!
  • A new group of nursing students from University of Portland are working on site weekly.  Nursing students help our clients access preventative healthcare, manage chronic health conditions and provide health and wellness information.
  • Holy Redeemer Parish has become our second home for our General Assembly meetings.  Twice a month the parish hosts us for an incredible home cooked meal and allows us to assemble in their warm and comfortable meeting room.  See photos below!
  • St. Wensesauth’s Youth Group help paint, garden, haul debris and organize donated items at the Village for a day of service earlier this month.
A New and Improved Pod Arrives to Kenton Women’s Village

The Pod built by Maslow CNC arrived to the village this past month.  It was based on the pod designed by SERA Architects as part of the Portland Art Museum [Plywood] POD Initiative. This design utilizes four 4’x8′ modules that are joined on site for easy transport.

The Maslow pod design was incorporated from suggestions made by villagers who first occupied Kenton Village when we opened. The ReBuilding Center transported the pod to Kenton as well as took the time to put the pod in place with a forklift. Volunteers, local businesses and community partners continue to help the women at the village in countless ways. We appreciate you!
Congrats to Lynette and Debbie on their new apartments!
Celebrate hope with Catholic Charities of Oregon next week! On Saturday, March 10th at 7 PM, we will gather at the Oregon Convention Center to celebrate the hope provided to women at Kenton Women’s Village and other amazing programs thanks to supporters and friends like you!
Buy Your Tickets

REACH CDC Offers Update on Kenton Project

Following my update on the development of TriMet’s property at 2133 N Argyle St yesterday, REACH CDC has now issued their own update on the project.


Here are a few of my thoughts on the post:




Tyler Roppe

KNA Chair


Updates on REACH CDC’s Project at 2133 N Argyle St

It’s been about a month since the last KNA Board meeting where REACH CDC’s development of TriMet’s property at 2133 N Argyle St was discussed, and I finally have some news to share:




On the first point, I find it extremely significant that the N/NE Community Oversight Committee is speaking out against the current proposal. It sends a clear message that it’s not just neighbors in Kenton that see these changes as a problem and pushes back against what almost feels like a concerted effort to simply just have a project because of affordable housing needs among local bureaucracies.

I’m guessing that officials with PHB aren’t exactly thrilled with the committee, but it looks like the committee has a case here: A key tenet of N/NE Housing Strategy is the it would guided by the community itself, and that community visioning has resulted in previously prioritizing, for example, family-sized units and storefront commercial opportunities.

The N/NE Community Oversight Committee meets next month, and we do know that this project will be addressed. These meetings are public, and we will certainly be spreading the word once the details of the next meeting are known. This will be key action item for neighbors opposed to REACH CDC’s changes to this project. 

Looking to Wednesday, our meeting with Prosper Portland should help answer the question of there being hope of any additional funding for this project or not. We’ll absolutely be providing a recap of the meeting at the KNA Board meeting that night, 14th, at the Firehouse, 7pm, and looking at next steps. Yes, I know; it’s Valentine’s Day.

If additional funding looks bleak, the KNA Board might be inclined to move off of looking for more funds to seeking the project delayed, etc. but it’s a tricky situation. The reality is that there isn’t much stopping REACH CDC from going forward with this project beyond public outcry and maybe some pressure on PHB via their oversight committee. If the neighborhood effects tensions with REACH CDC, it might put us in a bad spot trying to work with them on, say, storefront community rooms if they are to move forward.

As always, please contact us if you want to get involved and/or have questions, concerns, etc.

Tyler Roppe

KNA Chair

Donations Needed for Kenton Street Fair Fundraiser

To ensure proper funding for the Kenton Street Fair on May 20th this year, the Kenton Street Fair Fundraiser, which has been set for April 20th from 6:00pm-9:30pm at Disjecta (8371 N Interstate Ave), is in need of donations. Please see the documents below for additional information.

Donations are 100% tax deductible.

Donation wish list:



Donation form:



Neighbors Voice Concern about REACH CDC’s Development

UPDATE: Members of the KNA Board will be meeting with REACH CDC and Prosper Portland on February 14th.

At last night’s KNA Board meeting, dozens of neighbors were given a chance to hear directly from REACH CDC and voice concerns on the changes to their development of TriMet’s property at 2133 N Argyle St.

While neighbors might have differing opinions about the project having some market-rate units or not, neighbors did send a clear message on the commercial space: This should be a mixed-use project.

The problem?

With retail included, the project is facing roughly a 4 million dollar shortfall. REACH CDC’s solution to this is to use an affordable housing exemption to the state of Oregon prevailing wage law, allowing REACH CDC to receive millions of dollars of public funding without having to pay the wages normally required for public works projects in Oregon. By not paying prevailing wages, REACH CDC can save about 10% in construction costs, closing their funding gap.

This exemption, however, prevents any space intended for commercial use from being built, but REACH CDC still plans to build out the ground-floor retail as community spaces. Unless Oregon state law were changed, REACH CDC could never convert this space to actual retail or charge any rent for it.

REACH CDC was clearly looking for ideas how they could activate these ground-floor community rooms from neighbors, but those in attendance had little interest in partaking in that conversation. Frankly, it’s hard to envision storefront community spaces not turning out to be more empty storefronts.

The big misstep here is that REACH CDC wasn’t coming to neighbors to figure out how they should proceed with the project; they were here to tell neighbors what had already been decided. It’s now late in the process, and options appear limited.

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. REACH CDC was receptive to working with the KNA in engaging Prosper Portland, for example, in looking for additional public funds.

The KNA Board will be looking at sending letters to TriMet and Prosper Portland in the coming days along with establishing meetings with REACH CDC and government officials.

Want to get involved? Contact us!

Tyler Roppe

KNA Chair

REACH CDC’s Kenton Housing Development No Longer Mixed-Use

Following up on their presentation at last year’s KNA General Meeting in June, REACH CDC has announced two significant changes to the planned development of TriMet’s property at 2133 N Argyle St across from Nelson Plaza: Converting the project into 100% affordable housing, removing a mixed-income component, and eliminating any commercial space, scraping a mixed-use element.

The project is facing a multi-million dollar funding gap, and these modifications allow for an exemption to Oregon’s prevailing wage law required for projects that receive considerable public funding. However, while allowing REACH CDC to reduce labor costs to stay within their budgetary restrictions, these changes represent a vast departure from the original guidelines for the project.

In TriMet’s Request for Statement of Qualifications (RFQ) for the project that REACH CDC was awarded, TriMet noted that they sought “a development team to provide mixed-use building(s) with both market rate and affordable housing, and a ground-floor retail presence to create an active street frontage.”

While TriMet offered flexibility in the mixed-income aspect by only requiring that at least 25 percent of the units be affordable, TriMet was very clear that project must include “improved availability of retail goods and services near transit station.”

TriMet’s goals for the project tied back to a study by Prosper Portland that, as pointed out in the RFQ, found that this property was “recommended to be the first of a potential phased development plan that would dramatically change N. Argyle Street into a dense node of activity at the north end of the Kenton downtown.”

Hoping to keep the project moving forward, TriMet has lifted the commercial activity requirements.

After discussing the matter at last month’s KNA Board Meeting, the KNA Board issued a statement to REACH CDC in which the KNA Board took the following positions based on current information:

REACH CDC intends to attend the next KNA Board Meeting, which all neighbors are encouraged to attend, on January 10th, 7pm, at the Historic Kenton Firehouse (8105 N Brandon Ave) to begin discussion with neighbors about these changes to the project. As well, the Portland Housing Bureau, which granted significant funds to REACH CDC, will be having their N/NE Oversight Committee discuss the REACH CDC project with a public comment period on the 11th at the New Song Community Center (220 NE Russell Street) at 6pm. Mayor Wheeler is expect to be in attendance.


Winter Updates at the Kenton Women’s Village

Can you believe we’ve had women living in our beautiful little village for half a year now? Wow! We have so many things to celebrate with several women moving into permanent housing, special features and volunteers at Kenton, and all of our generous and kind donors and volunteers! Read on to see what’s happening at KWV.
Sponsor a Move-In Kit!

A big thank you to our Kenton neighbors who have been putting together Move-In Kits for our women moving out of housing! When a client moves into Kenton or from Kenton to a new apartment, they are provided with warm bedding, warm winter clothing, furnishings, and other basic necessities. Interested in helping? Check out our sponsorship page!

OPB’s Podcast on KWV

Dave Miller and Allison Frost of OPB’s podcast Think Out Loud interviewed three KWV clients about their experiences prior to Kenton Women’s Village, plans for the future, and what life is like at the Village. Listen to the full podcast here!

Spa day for the women

Jordana Levenick, along with a team of consultants from Arbonne, organized and hosted a Ladies Pampering afternoon at the Village.  The KWV clients were treated to hand and foot scrubs, massages, and wonderful Arbonne treat bags.  The Arbonne consultants treated the clients to a wonderful spa-like experience right in their own community space. Thank you, Arbonne and Jordana Levenick for your generosity!
Baby, it’s cold outside!
When the temperatures drop, we do our best to make sure our clients stay warm. With the Columbia sports heavy duty sleeping bags and jackets, hot water bottles to safely heat up pods, and a propane-heated community space with cots for nights that get very cold, we are ensuring that every woman feels safe and warm each cold night.
Jewell moved in to a new place!
It’s been an amazing year! Let us count the ways…
Here are some of the amazing successes we’ve had at KWV this year:
  • clients have moved into permanent supportive housing.  An additional four clients are on track to move in before the holidays!
  • 14 clients have health insurance, primary care doctors & access to dental and eye care.
  • clients received legal advocacy for monetary benefits, child visitation rights and domestic violence assistance.
  • clients receive on-site mental health care weekly.
  • 6 clients work with our Catholic Charities Peer Support Specialist.
  • 6 clients are employed in the community.
  • 5 clients received new ID, birth certificates and social security cards.
  • 5 clients receive Financial Wellness Coaching. Two have graduated a six-week Rent Well course.
  • 1 client has graduated from Peer Support Specialist training & will now help others in the community.
  • 1100+ volunteer hours
  • 70+ hours of Villager volunteer service in Kenton Women’s Village
We have so much to be grateful for this year!
A special THANK YOU to Holy Redeemer Church who has provided space for our ladies to have their weekly General Assemblies, as well as provided food boxes, gifts, Fred Meyer gift cards, and handmade scarves and hats.
THANK YOU for all of your support in making this village and our clients’ transitions into permanent housing possible!
Get Involved
If you’re interested, there are still ways you can be involved and help Kenton Women’s Village! Here are a few ways to help:
  • Volunteer – We can always use an extra helping hand! Currently, we’d love volunteers to help with
    • Cleaning pods
    • Painting
    • Sanding
    • Basic Maintenance on empty pods
For more Volunteer opportunities, please check out our Volunteer page. To become a volunteer, please submit an online Volunteer Application as well. Thank you!
  • Sponsor/Donate Check out our In-Kind Donations page or click below to learn how to help sponsor a client!
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