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Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue Reopens in Hillsboro

Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue reopens, debuting 30 new pallet home shelters and offering a life-saving steppingstone to long-term housing stability.
Media release

Elected officials – including Governor Tina Kotek, Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway, and Metro Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez – gathered on December 8 to celebrate the re-opening of the Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue. Event attendees brought blankets and wrote welcoming messages to greet new shelter guests who will begin moving in next week.

Utilizing new pallet shelter structures, the site will offer immediate shelter to 30 individuals, with heating and cooling installed to protect shelter guests from the elements. Shelter guests will work with the shelter operator, Open Door HousingWorks, and housing case managers to reach long-term housing goals.

This shelter represents a unified government approach and partnership across four levels of government. The pallet homes were purchased by Washington County using investments from Governor Tina Kotek’s Executive Order 2023-02, which also funded the site preparations. The site is owned and provided by the City of Hillsboro for the temporary shelter use, and operations are funded by the regional Metro Supportive Housing Services measure through Washington County.

“When I declared a homeless state of emergency on my first day in office, I knew partnerships with local leaders would be critical to our success,” said Governor Kotek. “These thirty new shelter pods are meeting the urgency of the humanitarian crisis we are facing, and I applaud the proactive and collaborative work happening in Washington County.”

“I am proud of our team’s resourceful approach to tackling the housing crisis,” said Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington. “By leaving no stone unturned, we continue to create and expand shelter capacity here in Washington County at an unprecedented rate. At the same time, we are investing in long-term solutions with a shared vision of making homelessness a brief and rare experience in our community.”

“Hillsboro community members are grateful to once again have accessible, life-saving emergency shelter for our neighbors and friends here at the SW 17th Avenue site,” said City of Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway. “Working with our partners, this property will become home to a year-round shelter in the future, helping us meet emergency shelter needs for years to come.”

The Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue will be included within Washington County’s robust shelter program, which currently offers over 400 beds/rooms of shelter county-wide.

The first round of Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue operated from October 2022 to June 2023. After this time, the existing Conestoga Huts were moved to Cornelius where they are still in use. While plans are underway for the construction of a year-round, permanent shelter at the Hillsboro site, the Safe Rest Pods will offer ongoing shelter capacity to best utilize the space.

Learn more about the Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue project here and learn more about Washington County’s existing shelter capacity here.


Media Contacts: Hameed Evenson, Washington County | 971-645-1056 | [email protected]
Patrick Preston, City of Hillsboro | 503-998-8460 | [email protected]

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