Montavilla Safe Park will be the Joint Office’s first safe parking site, intentionally located in East Portland and operated by a culturally specific provider, Straightway Services. The site will serve people experiencing vehicular homelessness, who tend to have higher rates of disability and other challenges.
The design for the Safe Park site places importance on equity, accessibility, and quality of life to provide person-centered services. Serving a maximum of 30 passenger vehicles, the program will be available to up to 40 participants (individuals and couples) experiencing vehicular homelessness in passenger cars only. The site will include on-site sleeping shelters, in addition to parking spaces for participants.
Hygiene facilities, laundry, storage, and offices will be provided in service facilities using repurposed shipping containers, pre-manufactured by CC915, a company that customizes and builds out shipping containers, that has been used, and successfully permitted, with the City of Portland at the Peninsula Crossing Safe Rest Village.
Pallet Shelter sleeping units were added to the plans for the site to address concerns about participants’ health and about vehicle camping. The Joint Office currently owns Pallet Shelters, located in storage, that will be used for this program.
The safe park model, which pairs a secure place to park vehicles with on-site services and housing supports, has been successfully deployed in other parts of the country and is becoming a model used for Portland alternative shelters, including the Sunderland Safe Rest Village, developed in partnership with the Joint Office, which serves people living in RVs.
This site is part of an overall shelter expansion funded by Multnomah County and the Joint Office. The Joint Office’s shelter expansion work is part of its “housing-first but not housing-only” strategy for addressing homelessness that centers housing paired with wraparound services, while still building out short-term shelter options. Since 2020, the Joint Office has opened 17 shelters in the community, including alternative shelter options like the nearby Beacon Village and WeShine’s Parkrose Village.