UPDATE: The KNA’s Committee on the Kenton Women’s Village received an update from project organizers on May 30th. The village is expected to open around June 12th.
What is the Kenton Women’s Village?
The Kenton Women’s Village, previously known as the POD Village, is a year-long pilot project for up to 14 homeless female-identified people to each house a micro-housing sleeping pod designed by local architecture firms on a transitional basis in a village-style community with oversight and ongoing support from a contracted non-profit, Catholic Charities.
Where is the site for the Village?
The address of the site is 2221 N Argyle St. The property is owned by the Portland Development Commission (PDC).
PDC has approved a deal to sell the land to Transition Projects for them to develop into an affordable housing project after the one-year pilot project is over.
Is there any documentation?
While documentation has been slow to come in, here are all the documents the KNA has received on this project:
Who is organizing this project?
The project is a collaboration between the City of Portland, the Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS), Catholic Charities (CC) and the Village Coalition (VC). Allied community partners include Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design (CPID), City Repair, the KNA and Kenton Business Association (KBA).
What infrastructure and services are supposed to be included in this village?
Besides the 14 dwelling units for single occupancy, there would be common buildings for toilets, sanitation, food storage, cooking and dining. Site improvements would include a fence with a lockable front gate, outdoor lighting and walkways.
The following services would be offered:
● Permanent housing placement assistance
● Use of a small transitional dwelling
● Shared food storage, preparation, and dining facilities
● Shared facilities for toilets, sanitation, and hygiene
● Regular trash collection
● A mailbox and address
● Community meetings and social events
● Conflict resolution, including mediation
● On-site leadership development and educational programming, including
proactive systems for building affinity and collaboration
● Integrated case management
● Addiction treatment referrals
● Mental health treatment referrals
● Smoking cessation support
How will this be governed?
Beyond CC being the administrative and fiscal services provider, the village will mostly use a self-governance model comprised of a general assembly of residents, resident stewards, a staff liaison from CC, a trained crisis intervention team and an advisory board of at least JOHS, VC, residents, CC.
What would be the process for the residents to be chosen?
Through an intake team of CC and VC that conducts interviews and makes evaluations to be approved by the advisory board, the 14 residents would be chosen from those that have lived or worked in the Kenton neighborhood or surrounding areas within the past two years. Membership in the village would be provisional for each resident’s first 30 days.
When did the KNA learn of this project?
The KNA was informed of the project in early December of last year and made the project known publicly via social media, e-news, website, news media, etc. on December 13th when written documentation of the proposal was finally received.
What did KNA do once hearing of this project?
Besides reaching out to neighbors, the KNA formed an ad hoc committee based on neighborhood feedback to work with and provide input to the project organizers to further develop the proposal. This committee met multiple times, looking at topics like site planning, good neighbor agreement and village rules.
In an endorsed open letter sent to project organizers, the KNA Board reasoned that the board “needs additional and more clearly defined specifics along with the opportunity to better inform and engage our neighborhood’s residents in order to make a statement on this proposal.”
Project organizers stated that this project wouldn’t move forward without the neighborhood’s support. Hence, the KNA held a neighborhood-wide vote on the project at the General Meeting on March 8th where the village was overwhelmingly approved by the neighborhood.
What is next for the village?
An open house for neighbors to come and check out the village will take place on June 9th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the site.
Who can I contact, get updates and/or give input?
Please contact us directly for any questions, comments, concerns, etc.