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Homelessness -- Oregon -- Portland, Homelessness -- Social aspects -- Case Studies


The village model is an increasingly popular form of alternative shelter being explored by organizations, activists, and municipalities around the country. Portland’s Dignity Village is the country’s first and longest running village, serving as a touchstone for community dialogue in Oregon around the subject of supporting people experiencing homelessness since 2000. More recently, the region has seen the rapid increase in alternative shelters informed by or following the village model, sparked by a state of emergency declaration on housing and homelessness in Portland in 2015, and further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the model continues to grow and morph with each iteration, the research team at Portland State University’s Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative (HRAC) wanted to know if the village model was working as intended, whom was it serving, and what lessons could be learned to improve future village efforts based on insights from those with personal experience living in, working at, or designing for a village. This document is the outcome of a multi-year research project to answer these questions. There is currently very limited research on villages and much still to be explored, but this effort hopes to make a significant contribution to the understanding of villages by comparing six different villages in the Portland Metro region with varying degrees of infrastructure, management or governance structures, operating support, and origins.


© 2022 Portland State University Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative

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