WeShine nonprofit opens its first micro-village in Portland

Broadcast: Friday, Aug. 26


Volunteers helping build tiny-homes for Parkrose Community Village, the first micro-village created by the new nonprofit WeShine.
Courtesy WeShine

If you want to know about the nonprofit behind the city’s newest micro-village, you just need to look at the letters in its name. WeShine stands for Welcoming, Empowering, Safe Habitation Initiative with Neighborhood Engagement. People are starting to move into its Parkrose Community Village in Northeast Portland, where they’ll have their own sleeping pod and other basic necessities like toilets, showers and laundry facilities. Residents will also get help accessing services they need and developing financial literacy skills, which can help them to ultimately move from transitional to affordable housing.

Even as this village opens, WeShine is looking ahead — not just to open its next village, but to create a model that can be replicated all over the city. Part of that is creating a kind of “best practices” playbook and sharing ways to fast track the processes with city and county governments. Jan McManus is the executive director of WeShine. We talk with her about WeShine’s approach to homeless shelters and the potential for replicating the design of this micro-village.