Kenton Women’s Village

Kenton Women’s Village is a creative and collaborative project, offering a new approach for addressing houselessness at a small scale. The villagers are empowered, have a sense of purpose, and take daily steps toward permanent housing.

Kenton Women's Village

The village was created through partnerships with local government, nonprofit, and educational institutions: Catholic Charities of Oregon, City of Portland, the Joint Office of Homeless Services, the Village CoalitionProsper PortlandAlmar ContractingPortland State University School of Architecture’s Center for Public Interest DesignKenton Neighborhood AssociationCatlin Gabel InvenTeam, and dozens of other community businesses, organizations, and individuals.

The village is made up of 20 sleeping pods (no larger than 8 by 12 feet), designed and built in late 2016 as part of the Partners on Dwelling (POD) Initiative, which brought together a citywide coalition of architects, housing advocates, and houseless individuals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we allow only 15 women to reside in the village at one time. Those from the Kenton neighborhood receive priority placement.

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.

Through Catholic Charities of Oregon, 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.

23
women have moved into permanent supportive housing
15
women have started jobs
23
women have started volunteering in the local community

Why Is the Village Model an Innovative Approach?

  • This program offers safety, security, community, and basic human needs to people who are living outside.
  • A wide range of services can be offered efficiently with on-site case management, physical and mental health services, and housing placement.
  • It is easier to connect villagers with community volunteers, leveraging staff hours by helping women with concrete assistance as they look for housing, education, and employment opportunities.
  • Long-term and chronic homelessness can be alleviated, returning women to their communities and reducing the high cost of emergency services.

Why Tiny House Villages?

  • Many women are unable to cope with the noise and lack of privacy in emergency shelters. A tiny house is private and has a locking door.
  • Sleeping outside is dangerous, leaving women vulnerable to intimidation, theft, sexual assault, and physical assault. The Village is safe. Possessions are safe.
  • The Village offers opportunities for community, leadership, self-governance, and self-determination.
  • The short-term nature of a temporary village offers both hope and a sense of urgency for moving toward permanent housing.
A sign at Kenton Women's Village that says "Sisters of Kenton"

Since Moving into the Kenton Women's Village...

  • 23 have moved into permanent supportive housing
  • 14 received an ID
  • 8 received a birth certificate
  • 13 received eye care
  • 8 received dental care
  • 15 started jobs
  • 20 have developed income
  • 10 have completed or are pending completion of Rent Well
  • 23 have received mental health services
  • 22 are working with a peer support specialist
  • 11 have received pet care
  • 23 have started volunteering locally with organizations like Food by Design, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Portland People’s Harm Reduction Project and the Oregon Food Bank
Kenton Women's Village

In-Kind Needs

Kenton Women’s Village is located at 2420 N Columbia Blvd. Please note that the front gate entrance is only accessible by foot. While there is no parking lot, parallel parking is available on Argyle before the Columnia-Argyle intersection.

Please do not bring unannounced donations. Contact the village manager, Bernadette Stetz, to schedule a drop-off time. Tax-deductible receipts will be provided.

View Our Amazon Wish List

Please consider donating the following supplies:

  • Toilet paper
  • Safeway gift cards
  • Coffee
  • Umbrellas
  • Bedside lamps
  • AA batteries
  • Closet organizers
  • Storage bins
  • Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes
  • Laundry detergent
Articles

Press Release: Catholic Charities Completes Renovations to Preserve 102 Units of Affordable Rental Housing in Southern Oregon

Posted By | Catholic Charities of Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 20, 2020 – Catholic Charities of Oregon has completed renovations in three apartment complexes under its dedicated housing entity, Caritas Housing Initiatives, that preserves 102 units of rental housing serving low-income and elderly rural residents. The renovations were completed in Hillside Village in Glendale, Ore., and Valerie Hills Apartments and Woodville Village…

Clackamas County and Metro Approve $18.3M for Catholic Charities' Good Shepherd Village

Posted By | Catholic Charities of Oregon
The project will be the first regulated affordable housing development within the city limits of Happy Valley.

In Memory of Katie Nolan: A Dedication to Those in Need

Posted By | Jennifer Lucena, Homeless Services Manager
On July 6, 2020, our Housing Transitions Program wished the late Katie Nolan, former Catholic Charities staff member and symbol of our mission to serve those in need, a very happy birthday. With face coverings and social distancing the HTP team shared 50 sack meals (including a commemorative photo and story of Katie) with people…

Kenton Women's Village Celebrates New Community Space, Increased Health Care Enrollment

Posted By | Catholic Charities of Oregon
After a year of planning, the new community space at Kenton Women’s Village is finished! See photos of the project and the impact it has already had on villagers.