It can Be Done- Ending Homelessness


Kenton Women’s Village is a creative, collaborative year-long pilot project, offering a new potential approach for addressing houselessness at a small scale, which could be adapted and implemented in communities across the country. The village was created through partnerships with local government, nonprofit, and educational institutions: Catholic Charities, City of Portland, the Joint Office of Homeless Services, the Village Coalition, Prosper Portland, Almar Contracting, Portland State University School of Architecture’s Center for Public Interest Design, Kenton Neighborhood Association, Catlin Gabel InvenTeam, and dozens of other community businesses, organizations, and individuals.

The village is made up of 14 sleeping pods (not larger than 8 by 12 feet), designed and built in late 2016 as part of the POD (Partners on Dwelling) Initiative, which brought together a citywide coalition of architects, housing advocates, and houseless individuals.

A fully operational kitchen and shower facilities, installed in customized shipping containers, have been added to the site, with water delivery and garbage service being provided. A community garden has been planted, so that residents and neighbors can collaborate and interact as the women make the village their home.

The residents of the Kenton Women’s Village are drawn largely from the Kenton and North Portland areas. Through Catholic Charities, the 14 formerly houseless women are receiving access to services including case management,  employment assistance, access to legal and financial services, mental and physical health care, and support creating and implementing a personalized plan to transition to permanent housing by the time they leave the village. The residents range in age from 20s to 60s.

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