Housing Jun 20, 2018 at 4:00 am

How an Experimental Village for Homeless Women Defied Portland’s Expectations



I'm happy for them. The reason why it may be working in Kenton and failed in Lents is because the women are not overwhelmed with the drug dealers and pimps that dominate all aspects of life for people that are homeless in that area, and would be circling the site if it were there right now. People fail to see the obvious - when clustering of the the homeless population is allowed to occur, nobody wins. Spread the population evenly throughout the city and give people the time and space to heal.


"What makes the KWV succeed where other transitional camps have failed?"

Making assumptions: 1) we're defining "transitional camp" as a homeless settlement that has some sort of organizational structure and has at least tacit approval from the city to stay at the location. (Right 2 Dream Too, Dignity Village), and 2) We're defining success as transitioning people from homelessness to legal homes (61% success rate for Kenton Women's Village in the first year).

So, how has Right 2 Dream Too failed? What's their annual percentage of people going from the camp to housing?

Presuming it's not as good, what are the differences between the two camps? For example, you mention Catholic Charities' involvement with the Women's Village -- is there a similar charity involved with R2D2? Do residents of R2D2 meet with case workers?


Right 2 Dream Too has and continues to provide safe, uninterrupted sleep to unhoused adults in Portland. This is our mission and we continue to succeed in the face of lots of opposition. We are a 501 c3 and are a democratically run not for profit. Many of the people we serve have gotten housed, though since we are unhoused people running a low-barrior shelter we are not the same as KWV. We need all of these models and more. However, I am concerned to see one group narrowly defining success and saying one group is "better" at it then another.

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