Alternative shelter

Montavilla Community Village

Updated April 2024

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As part of its commitment to help address the ongoing need for additional shelter capacity in Portland and Multnomah County, the Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) is converting the property at 333 S.E. 82nd Ave. into the Montavilla Community Village site.  It will include:

  • Onsite 24/7 wraparound services to people living in passenger vehicles (not RVs) while they transition into permanent housing. 
  • Individual sleeping pods for up to 40 adults 18 and over, designed for accessibility for people with disabilities.
  • On-site trash services, showers, restrooms, laundry, and a kitchenette.

Nonprofit provider Straightway Services will provide 24/7 on-site wraparound services. Straightway Services has worked for years in Portland providing support to low-income individuals and underserved populations, including contracting with Multnomah County. The site will be available through referrals/reservations.

Site Features

  • Capacity for up to 40 adults
  • 29 sleeping pods 
  • 33 parking spots
  • Six 8 ft. x 20 ft. metal relocatable shelters providing office space for staff and participant services, hygiene facilities, kitchenette amenities, and laundry facilities
  • Green space & covered outdoor community area
  • Fence with privacy inserts on all street sides
  • 8’ privacy fence along directly adjoining properties
Image rendering layout of the Montavilla Community Shelter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Montavilla Community Village.

Site information

What is the Joint Office’s plan for 333 S.E. 82nd Ave.?

Montavilla Community Village will be the Joint Office’s first safe parking site, intentionally located in East Portland and operated by Straightway Services. The site will prioritize people experiencing vehicular homelessness, who tend to have higher rates of disability and other challenges.

The design for the Community Village site places importance on equity, accessibility, and quality of life to provide person-centered services. 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 (for up to 33 passenger vehicles).

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.

To address concerns related to participant health and vehicle camping, Pallet Shelter sleeping units have been incorporated into the site plans. The Joint Office already owns Pallet Shelters, presently in storage, designated for use in this program.

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. 

Is this a Safe Rest Village?

The Montavilla Community Village is not a Safe Rest Village. The term “Safe Rest Village” — while sometimes used as a generic term for an alternative, village-style or pod shelter — refers to a specific City of Portland shelter program, which is operated in partnership with the Joint Office. The service model for the Montavilla Community Village will closely resemble existing alternative shelters developed and funded by the County and the City of Portland. 

Is this a camp?

No. This will be a managed alternative shelter, available to people who currently live in their vehicles. The goal is to provide a safe place for people to live off the streets and connect to services that put them on the path to permanent housing.

Increasing options for low-barrier alternative shelters means that fewer people have to resort to unsanctioned camping. 

What is the design and layout for the site?

The Joint Office, Multnomah County Facilities and Carleton Hart Architecture developed a proposed site plan in partnership with Straightway Services. The site plan is designed to mitigate concerns around the proximity of parking, sleeping units and hygiene services to neighboring properties. 

Key principles guiding the design include:

  • Strategically placing the main entry at the north, closest to the offsite services utilized by guests. Ensuring the office has good visibility over the site.
  • Placing bathrooms in multiple locations around the site for the convenience of all guests. 
  • Positioning hygiene, kitchen and laundry away from the neighboring properties
  • Locating most guest parking spots away from the neighboring properties
  • Centering ADA accessibility and privacy
  • Adhering to trauma-informed design principles

This design contributes significantly to equitable service delivery in East Portland, an area facing a high concentration of vehicular homelessness. The proposed site includes four toilets and four showers, maintaining a participant to shower and toilet ratio of a maximum of 10:1.  

Accessibility for people with disabilities is a high consideration in the site’s design.. Notably, wheelchair accessible parking spaces for 27% of the participants, significantly higher than the 10% required by code. In addition, 50% of the hygiene units are planned to feature roll-in showers. All community facilities are planned to have ramps and landings.  

The covered common area will be a metal structure similar to structures that have been permitted at Safe Rest Village sites. It will serve as an outdoor gathering space with protection from rain and sun.

When will the site open?

The site’s opening is contingent upon the completion of construction, including the demolition of the site’s existing building.. The project timeline  depends on several factors, including robust community engagement, the County Board of Commissioners’ design approval vote, and the subsequent construction phase. Our goal is to open the Montavilla Community Village in 2024, aligning with our commitment to transparency and community collaboration throughout the process.

Provider information

Who will be managing the site?

Nonprofit provider Straightway Services will provide 24/7 on-site wraparound services. Straightway Services has worked for years in Portland providing support to low-income individuals and underserved populations, including contracting with Multnomah County. The site will be available through referrals/reservations.

Does the service provider have any connections to the community, the business community, or the local homeless population?

Straightway Services has worked for years in Portland providing support to low-income individuals and underserved populations. They have previously contracted with Multnomah County during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide accessibility to healthcare and vaccines. Straightway Services operates a variety of programs, including, but not limited to:

  • Severe weather emergency shelter
  • Houselessness support
  • Addiction recovery support
  • Weekly food pantry
  • Community dinner
  • Clothes closet
  • Work boot program

How did the selection process work?

A Notice of Funding Availability for Alternative Shelter and Safe Parking Programs was released on Oct. 31, 2022, initiating the application and selection process for a provider. Straightway Services was the sole applicant.

Their application was reviewed and met the necessary benchmarks for Straightway Services to become a qualified provider, and in January 2023, JOHS began contract negotiations with Straightway Services to operate the program.

On-site services

What will the village provide?

The site will offer:

  • A safe, managed place for Portlanders experiencing vehicular homelessness to sleep and park their vehicles on their paths to permanent housing. 
  • Support addressing basic needs, including hygiene services, case management and housing navigation.
  • Access to treatment for unmet behavioral health needs, including help accessing treatment for mental health challenges and substance use disorders.
  • Reduced impact for neighbors currently experiencing unsanctioned vehicular camping in their community.
  • 24/7 staffing with security fencing ensuring the safety and security of the village and community. Only participants and their registered guests will be allowed to enter the village.
  • Locations for communal gathering, a kitchenette, and yet-to-be-determined site amenities (e.g., raised bed gardens or mini-libraries).
  • Opportunities for participants to build community with the surrounding neighborhood.

The site will NOT be:

  • A place for unsanctioned camping.
  • A site for individuals living in RVs.
  • A permanent housing location. This village is an alternative shelter and will support the transition to permanent housing or permanent supportive housing programs.
  • A self-managed site. This village will be managed by nonprofit provider Straightway Services. Participants will have the opportunity to directly shape and guide the community they build together.

Will participants with substance use disorders receive support to overcome addiction?

Participants with substance use disorders at the Montavilla Community Village will receive dedicated support from Straightway Services. Straightway Services has a proven track record of success in aiding community members to overcome substance use disorders.

Why is a shelter site like this necessary?

We are in a crisis that requires creating urgent new options that help people leave the streets for safer and more humane location where they can access shelter and services that will support them as they work to return to housing and stability. 

Alternative shelters like this reflect what we have learned throughout our emergency response to homelessness. Congregate shelters work well and provide services and stability for many people, but not every unsheltered person is willing or able to live in a congregate shelter environment.

The Joint Office believes our shelter system should offer a range of models so we can offer the best options for as many people as possible. This community village model provides individuals experiencing homelessness with safety and stability on a short-term basis while working to access permanent housing.

This site also will meet a need for people who have mobility issues and wheelchair accessibility. (See the response above on the site design, which details planned accessibility enhancements for parking spaces, individual sleeping shelters, hygiene spaces and community buildings.)

And, in general, having alternative shelter sites in neighborhoods across the county helps ensure those options fit the needs of as many people experiencing homelessness as possible.

How will safety concerns be addressed?

Ensuring the safety of both participants and neighbors is a top priority for the Montavilla Community Village. Here’s how safety concerns will be comprehensively addressed:

  • 24/7 staffing
  • Security fencing
  • The site will be staffed 24/7 and include security fencing. Only participants and their registered guests will be allowed to enter the village.
  • Strategic lighting to enhance visibility., and other security measures.

As responsible stewards of the community, and good neighbors, the Joint Office recognizes the importance of safe and effective property management. The commitment to safe practices ensures not only the safety of village residents but also fosters a secure coexistence with the broader community. The Joint Office remains committed to the success of the program for both residents and the community at large.

How will this alternative style shelter affect the community?

We hold our operators to high standards and support them to ensure their success. The Joint Office has opened dozens of shelters since 2016, in neighborhoods ranging from the Pearl District to Mill Park, including motels, villages and traditional congregate shelters. 

While it’s common for neighboring businesses and residents to be hesitant about a new shelter opening in their neighborhood, many celebrate and support the shelter sites once they are operational.

The Joint Office believes that just because someone has lost their housing, they shouldn’t have to lose their community, too. We’re grateful for the neighbors who welcome shelter participants into their communities.

Community engagement

How will the community be engaged in the process?

JOHS is committed to fostering an inclusive environment where the community actively contributes to the success of shelters. JOHS, in collaboration with  Straightway Services, is dedicated to maintaining a presence in Montavilla, promoting  transparent and open communication channels to address community concerns throughout the process.

Key elements of the community engagement plan include:

  • Targeted Outreach: Engagement with community-based organizations, neighborhood residents, surrounding service providers, businesses, and faith communities.
  • Informative Canvassing: Distribution of information sheets and a community engagement schedule to residents and businesses in the community.
  • Community Meetings: JOHS-led community meetings to facilitate direct communication in addition to attendance and presentations at established neighborhood group meetings.
  • Regular Newsletters: distribution of newsletters providing consistent updates on the project to keep the community informed.
  • Dedicated Communication Channel: establishment of a dedicated Montavilla Community Village email for the community to send comments, questions, and feedback.
  • Social Media Updates: regular updates on social media platforms to enhance visibility and community engagement.

Additionally, JOHS will convene a committee of community partners to establish a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA). This agreement will outline collaborative efforts to address potential impacts of the Community Village and foster working relationships in support of participants.

The GNA will be developed over the coming months, during the site development process, with the goal of finalizing and executing the GNA shortly before the Montavilla Community Village site is operational. 

How can I reach out with questions and comments about the project?

Please reach out to with questions and comments about the project.

Upcoming Meetings

Information for upcoming meetings will be added when scheduled.