WeShine Goals and Policy Framework

July 2021

The goal of WeShine is to provide safe, welcoming and empowering transitional
micro-villages for homeless persons in every Portland neighborhood. We seek to establish community-based partnerships with all affected parties to create living situations in the immediate term that are sustainable until every Portlander has access to permanent affordable housing.

Critical to WeShine’s approach is the concept of managing the scale and distribution of our transitional shelter sites so that the need is addressed broadly across the city and no neighborhood is disproportionately burdened. We believe that micro-villages embedded in neighborhoods across the metro area will address the need for safer, less triggering shelter settings for some of the most vulnerable and under-served among the houseless population.

Micro-villages also can fit into any neighborhood, regardless of its density. In addition, we will stress with guests the voluntary nature of the shelter offer and the importance to adhere to basic requirements as good neighbors.

To achieve our goals, we propose to:
● Partner with faith communities, non-profit community organizations, and private
businesses to site temporary shelter communities on private property.
● Limit the scale of shelter sites to levels that are safe and sustainable for the sponsor.
● Partner with neighborhood associations to provide volunteers, resources, and
opportunities for community engagement.
● Partner with restaurants and faith communities to provide healthy meals and reduce the trash from take-away meals.
● Partner with community-based organizations to provide behavioral health, social
services, and assistance to transition to permanent, affordable housing.
● Partner with the city and county to offer land and funds to both develop and operate sanctioned sites using its emergency powers authority.

With this approach, we anticipate that, over time, the availability of temporary,
neighborhood-based shelter sites in supported micro-villages, along with larger shelter programs developed by other service providers on public lands, will allow the city to address homelessness issues with compassion and within the limits of public resources.