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A Resource for Solutions
Explore the new online resource from the League of Oregon Cities.
Unhoused Residents & Safe Spaces
City's Response to Houselessness
February 2023 Update
In 2022 the City of Tigard:
- Hosted monthly meetings of the Community Homelessness Assessment and Response Team (CHART). CHART is a partnership of business owners, houseless service providers, and City staff who convene to share information and ideas and collaborate on solutions for houselessness.
- Participated in the Cities and County Leadership Meetings to discuss how Washington County and its jurisdictions are creating Time, Place, Manner ordinances and responding to other issues relating to houselessness.
- Hired a full-time Program Manager to coordinate the City’s response to houselessness and develop a strategy.
- Identified potential sites for pallet shelters and safe parking lots.
Looking forward to 2023, Tigard is:
- Developing a Houselessness Action Plan. This Plan will outline the key activities that City will engage in over the next two years to reduce houselessness in Tigard and will be presented to Council in March, 2023.
- Advocating through the League of Oregon Cities and Oregon Mayor’s Association for State funding to respond to houselessness. Tigard is requesting per capita funding for health and wellness services, capital improvements funding for emergency shelters, and long-term shelter solutions.
- Expanding the CHART partnership to include members of the faith-based community, houseless community members, and more.
- Siting transitional housing such as pallet shelters and safe parking lots in partnership with houseless service providers.
- Drafting and implementing an ordinance that allows houseless community members safe places to be while protecting community assets.
Tigard City Council identified reducing houselessness as a citywide goal. You can learn more about the goal here.
Unhoused in Washington County
The number 716 is important to understand. It represents the 600 adults, 69 children, and 47 youth who are unhoused in Washington County. It’s a conservative number based on a snapshot from one day in January, 2021 and represents a 14% increase since 2020.
This is one of the many reasons that our Council has set a goal to "implement an actionable, person-centric, and regional response to homelessness." The desired outcome is a community that offers safe housing options for all.
Energy and Utility Bill Assistance
Providence Health’s Community Resources (503-215-9488) offers direct assistance for utility bills.
Community Action’s free home weatherization program at 503-906-6550.
Impact NW (503-294-7444) helps with utility and energy bills.
211Info or 866-698-6155 helps individuals navigate and connect with housing, health, and human services.
Energy Trust of Oregon website assists in finding where you can lower your monthly bill.
Community Action (503-640-3263) provides immediate resources.
Community Connect (503-640-3263) is Washington County’s coordinated entry system that helps people experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness to find housing resources.
211Info by calling 211 or 866-698-6155 to help navigate and connect with housing, health, and human services in the region.
Shelter and resources
Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers (971-333-5070): Bybee Lakes Hope Center
Washington County Supportive Housing Services aims to create stable housing for all.
Family Promise (503-427-2768) serves families in need of safe sleeping space, meals, and to connect with other services. specific to their needs with housing being the first priority.
Rolling Hills (503-638-5900) connects unhoused individuals with food, health care, and shelter.
Washington County’s list of shelter and resources or contact Community Connect at 503-640-3263.
Tigard-Tualatin School District’s Student Services (503-431-4137) connects students and families with education, food, and housing resources.
Project Homeless Connect of Washington County assists help food, health, education, employment, and other resources.
Just Compassion (503-624-4666) offers programs and services throughout the county.
Home Plate Youth Services (503-867-4954) offers resources for youth experiencing homelessness throughout the county.
Impact NW (503-294-7400) offers help with housing and rent assistance.
Operation HOPE (Health, Outreach, Partnership, Encouragement) reaches out to those most vulnerable during the winter and summer months. Visit their Amazon registry to donate and learn more.
Washington County’s Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (503-808-1256) offers rental assistance and other resources for Veterans. Visit the website for Disability, Aging, and Veterans services for more information.
Salvation Army Veterans and Family Center, 14825 SW Farmington Road, Beaverton, 503-239-1259
Metro HomeShare connects Home Providers (homeowners) with Home Seekers (renters) to help stabilize communities and facilitate home retention. Visit the Metro HomeShare website for more information about this program.
Contact: Vernon Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Offering unhoused adults a daytime respite from the weather, meals, and other support services at the corner of Hall Blvd. and Knoll Drive in Tigard. Monday through Friday 10 AM to 2 PM.
How You Can Help?
On their webpage, they have a list of the donations needed for the Resource Center. Volunteers are needed to staff the Resource Center and complete various projects on the property. They also accept financial contributions.
On Talking Tigard
Earlier this year, Just Compassion received a $4 million dollar allocation in America Rescue Plan funding to build transitional housing and an expanded resource center in Tigard. Vernon Baker, Just Compassion Executive Director, shares how this new campus will make it easier for individuals experiencing houselessness to connect with the services that they need.
Supporting Our Unhoused Community Members
Vernon Baker, Executive Director of Just Compassion, discusses how Just Compassion is using the Resident Aid Fund of Tigard to support Tigard community members who are experiencing houselessness.
There are piles of garbage bags and abandoned shopping carts near City Hall. What can you do about it?
We are working with Metro and Washington County to set up more regular pickups of this location.
How does the city respond to camps?
What is Tigard doing about houselessness?
One of Council’s top priorities is to “Implement an actionable, person-centric, and regional response to homelessness.” Chief Kathy McAlpine and Library Director Halsted Bernard are leading the way on a new Community Houselessness Assessment Response Team (CHART) to implement this council goal.
The City Council and every department in the city has had a hand in responding to the community’s concerns about homelessness and we will continue that mission with all the resources we have available. Our team is engaged in a Gap Analysis to identify services available to unhoused residents in Tigard and Washington County so we can identify what’s missing. Before we can implement an actionable response we need to know where the gaps are for residents.
We are thrilled to partner with Just Compassion, Rise Church leaders, St. Anthony’s and St. Vincent de Paul, the Good Neighbor Center and other major providers to expand our reach to service providers all around Tigard.
These providers, non-profits, and faith leaders have expertise in social service issues that we do lack and we will need all of their help to be successful. We are also working with Washington County and regional partners like ODOT, Metro and TriMet to address solutions.
As we do this work, we know we are not alone; housing insecurity is a challenge for cities across the nation and we’re learning from each other’s experiences and consulting experts at the county, State and Federal levels. The collective work of Washington County leaders, provider agencies, faith-based and community members is highlighted in A Road Home: 2020 Homeless Assessment Report.
What is the city's history of connecting the unhoused to services?
Officer Wakem speaks about the city's work in this 'State of the City' interview with Mayor Snider.
I heard Portland is sending individual experiencing houselessness to Tigard. True?
False. Homelessness is not a new issue in Tigard and cities are not moving individuals to other cities. City leaders are working with our counterparts to address the housing crisis and the root causes of houselessness and we will continue that mission with all the resources we have available.
Metro’s regional supportive housing services measure passed in 2020 started funding programs as of July 1st 2021. We anticipate a broad expansion in the housing and supportive services needed to begin to address these issues.
With the arrival of Covid-19, the number of residents affected by housing insecurity has increased and made the issue more visible to the public. Being homeless is not a criminal condition and these individuals have the same rights as all residents.
The city has implemented many recommendations made by the 2017 citizen-led Homelessness Task Force, which was not the first task force to address homeless issues. Tigard also convened groups in 1994 and 2001.
What happens if I’m approached on a trail? Is it safe to visit our parks and walk our trails?
Yes, Tigard is safe. We’ve added more bicycle and foot patrols on trails, near encampments and in the downtown corridor. As always, if you ever feel threatened, I hope you’ll call 9-1-1 immediately. Tigard officers are there for all of us and want everyone to feel safe. If you see something that concerns you, please report it to the Police Non-Emergency number is 503-629-0111. There is little police can do unless they catch people in the act of littering, using illegal drugs, damaging property, etc. which may give the impression that City Council and/or law enforcement isn’t doing enough to address community concerns. In truth, we continue to search for ways to make a positive impact.
Tigard leadership must take immediate, definitive action. Illegal camps need to be cleared out when they appear. Existing laws need to be enforced.
Finding solutions has been complicated by a 2019 decision in the 9th Circuit Court Martin v. Boise ruled that a person has the right to sleep outside when they have no other option. That ruling invalidated many of the enforcement tools and local ordinances that could be used to address homelessness in settings like downtown or city parks.
A decision by the federal Oregon District Court (Blake v. Grants Pass) invalidated Grants Pass’ “no camping” ordinances, finding they violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Essentially, these court decisions have held that a person has a constitutional right to not be punished because of their condition of being homeless. These rulings prevent Tigard and other cities from prohibiting camping, sleeping in public, or similar measures.
We are working with Washington County on an agreement regarding encampments and the city’s Community Service Officer along with a police officer does make contact with these individuals to see if they want to take advantage of social services. If they are camping in a sensitive wetlands, we can take enforcement action and provide them with a 10 day notice to move. We are partnered with Metro’s bag program which provides unhoused individuals with a way to keep garbage out of their camps and so far it has been widely used in Tigard.
As we work towards solutions, we will continue to treat these individuals like the community members they are; encouraging them to seek assistance from public agencies and providers possessing benefits designed to get them into shelter and safety.
I want to donate items to help houseless individuals. What's your advice?
Just Compassion is a local provider doing excellent work in Tigard. Dr. Vernon Baker is the Executive Director and can be reached at 503-624-4666 or email@example.com.
Another suggestion is to contact Washington County at https://www.co.washington.or.us/homeless for community-wide resource, organizations and information. The county will take the lead in severe weather shelter programming for our homeless community. Winter Shelters begin registration in early November.
Mayor's Corner - October
The number 716 is important to understand. It represents the 600 adults, 69 children, and 47 youth who are unhoused in Washington County.
It’s a conservative estimate. Based on a snapshot from one day in January 2021, it represents a 14% increase since 2020.
Many of my recent conversations with community members and business owners have centered around the city’s response to houselessness.
Community members are worried about an uptick in trash, needles, and human waste as well as related environmental impacts. They are also concerned about their favorite parks and trails becoming large encampments for the houseless.
Business owners are concerned about customers being driven away, increased costs if they are forced to intervene in human crises, and damage near their buildings every week.
The city recognizes these very real issues related to houselessness. Addressing homelessness is not an impossible task, but it is also not as simple to solve as some people may believe. Solutions require both immediate and long-term strategies, and partnerships with County agencies, community organizations, and individuals within the community. With this in mind, we created our current Council goal in March 2021 to “implement an actionable, person-centric, and regional response to homelessness.”
Our work has begun.
Recently, the City Council allocated $250,000 for a third round of funding for the Resident Aid Funding of Tigard (RAFT) program. Community Partners for Affordable Housing and Just Compassion, which are organizations focused on housing and shelter, are examples of previous RAFT recipients. We are hopeful that future RAFT recipients will share a similar commitment to supporting our unhoused community.
In September, the City's Houseless Assessment Team completed its initial outreach and assessment phase. The team talked with businesses about their concerns – excessive trash, vandalism, and blocked sidewalks. Unhoused individuals were also part of the conversation. They shared the realities of being unhoused – a lack of restrooms, a lack of storage for belongings, and limited places to seek shelter. We will respond to what we heard by considering recommendations from the team in the coming weeks.
We have immediately addressed the issue of excessive trash through a unique partnership with Metro. We are distributing empty garbage bags to those with limited access to trash disposal and will then collect them when full.
These steps represent a beginning, not an end, to addressing the issue.
We will continue to listen. We will listen by empowering a community-based team. The team – including representatives from businesses, the City Council, the houseless community, nonprofits, and the Tigard Downtown Association – will begin meeting to discuss and collaborate on meaningful action in addressing houselessness.
We will also listen by being present. The City Council and staff already have visited, and will continue to proactively visit, businesses and individuals to deepen our understanding of the realities of houselessness in the community and to listen for creative solutions. We also invite you to communicate with us. You can reach the entire council by emailing CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov.
We will continue to act. By participating in the Washington County Encampment Pilot Program, our actions will be part of a regional solution. We will work with our partners to address immediate challenges like encampments, which tend to move from city to city around Washington County. Everyone will benefit from a centralized point of contact to which you can report encampments in the community.
We will consider using American Rescue Plan funds to address houselessness. Our hope is to maximize the impact of these funds through working with regional partners, including Washington County, community-based organizations, and the business community.
Though we have seen some successes, there are still at least 716 unhoused community members in Washington County. And there is still frustration among community members and businesses about the realities and effects of houselessness.
We know we have more work to do. As always, we will be transparent in this work. You will know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We will seek to answer every question from you on this topic. My Fireside Chat is an easy way to join the conversation.
In February 2021, we began partnering with Metro to give our unsheltered community members a way to dispose of their trash.
Metro's Bag Program
Metro's bag program provides people who are experiencing homelessness with a way to dispose of their trash. The program started as a pilot in the fall of 2018 after Metro engaged local government representatives, law enforcement officers, community health workers and people experiencing homelessness to better understand disposal challenges for people living in camps, cars and RVs around greater Portland. Read on...
Here is what we have done, what we are doing, and what we will do.
In September, we completed our initial outreach and assessment phase. Our team talked with businesses about their concerns – excessive trash, vandalism, and blocked sidewalks. Unhoused individuals were also part of the conversation. They shared the realities of being unhoused – a lack of restrooms, a lack of storage for belongings, and limited places to seek shelter. We will respond to what we heard by considering recommendations from the team in the coming weeks.
We have immediately addressed the issue of excessive trash through a unique partnership with Metro. We are distributing empty garbage bags to those with limited access to trash disposal and will then collect them when full.
The City Council allocated $250,000 for a third round of funding for the Resident Aid Funding of Tigard (RAFT) program. Community Partners for Affordable Housing and Just Compassion, which are organizations focused on housing and shelter, are examples of previous RAFT recipients. We are hopeful future RAFT recipients will share a similar commitment to supporting our unhoused community.
We worked with our partners to develop a resource kit for local businesses. The kit has been distributed to the business community.
- Assess the encampment behind the Tigard Library using the Washington County Encampment metrics to see if this meets the criteria for removal, additional services, or no action.
- Consider using American Rescue Plan funds to address houselessness. Our hope is to maximize the impact of these funds through working with regional partners, including Washington County, community-based organizations, and the business community.
The City of Tigard in partnership with the Washington County Encampment Management Program will be closing
and cleaning encampments located in The Fields Natural Area due to its status as an environmentally sensitive
area. The Fields Natural Area (AKA Brown Property) is an undeveloped park that extends north of SW Milton
Court up to the Tigard Public Library.
You may notice an increase in unhoused residents who are being displaced by the camp closures as they collect their personal property and relocate. We are actively working with the unhoused residents and local non-profit service providers to connect them with housing resources. Please see our Business Resource Guide that you can use during interactions with members of our community who may need additional assistance.
The camps closed on Monday, June 13, 2022 and staff from both jurisdictions and a contracted cleanup crew performed cleanup and restoration to impacted areas.
If you have any questions or concerns about the closure of The Fields Natural Area encampments, please reach out to Brandon Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-718-2752.
The Washington County Encampment Management Program (EMP) is a pilot program administered by the County to address the unprecedented rise in homelessness we have seen across the region. The program focuses on intensive encampment outreach and connecting those in need with housing navigation services, sanitary and waste management, regular meetings between participating agencies, and more. To learn more about the program click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will the people staying at The Fields Natural Area Tigard encampment be able to return to the encampment once the clean up is complete? No, the campers will not be able to return. The Fields Natural Area is located within the Fanno Creek Target Area, which has been identified as regionally significant due to its wildlife habitat and its contribution to water quality. The City of Tigard has an IGA (Intergovernmental Agreement) with Metro that requires the City to maintain, secure, and operate the property in accordance and in a manner consistent with the Metro Greenspaces Master Plan, the Tigard Municipal Code, and the Tigard Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Part of that agreement requires illegal camping patrols and removal monthly.
Furthermore, the City of Tigard passed an ordinance in 2019 related to “Camping in Sensitive Areas,” prohibiting camping in environmentally sensitive areas as defined in the Tigard Community Development Code. The Fields Natural Area is identified as an environmentally sensitive area under the development code.
- Will the people staying at The Fields Natural Area Tigard encampment be connected to resources? Yes, while this encampment is not an appropriate location for the individuals currently camping there to stay, the City of Tigard is partnering with the Washington County Encampment Management Program to help connect campers with resources. Currently, the encampment management program works with outreach workers from several organizations that visit camps on a regular basis to provide wellness checks and offer resources. Washington County also contracts with housing case managers and offers a “Community Connect” housing assessment to help connect people experiencing homelessness with a dedicated case manager and determine eligibility for relevant programs. Our goal is prior to June 13, 2022 to have helped every person staying at the encampment complete a Community Connect housing assessment to kickstart their housing journey.
- What happens after the camp has been vacated? Staff from the City of Tigard parks and police department will identify, collect and store personal property as needed. Tents and structures will be dismantled and a clean up contractor will spend the following week onsite removing debris and trash. Once the clean up is complete, the park will be reopened for visitors, but campers will not be able to stay overnight going forward.
Updated: May 3, 2022
Leadership Tigard Holds ID Workshop: This was an opportunity for people to assistance with understanding the DMV process, determining which documents were required, help request replacement vital records, sign up for Just Compassion’s mail program, obtain a fee-waiver for a no-cost Oregon Identification Card, and make an appointment to visit the DMV. TriMet and Leadership Tigard also provided resource bags and clothes. In total, 19 people came through the door and received some form of assistance. Nine people signed up for a shuttle bus to the Sherwood DMV this Friday. The event was a success with hopes to replicate it as a library program in the future. We did have one hiccup as the entire State of Oregon’s DMV servers CRASHED around noon taking down all online services and their call center. We continued on without it and it eventually came back online!
The Fields Natural Area Assessment: Recently, city teammates and Washington County’s Encampment Management Team assessed the camps in The Fields Natural Area. The site was assessed as a 75 out of 100, which means that it will be recommended for cleanup and removal.
Tigard Police Community Academy: Community Services Officer Brandon Peterson presented to the 16 community members participating in the Police Community Academy. Participants learned about the city's approach to houselessness, including how American Rescue Plan Act funding is being used to support these efforts.
Updated: April 27, 2022
Home Rehabilitation Resources
Catalyst NW Partnerships
Washington County Housing Rehabilitation Home Access & Repair for the Disabled and Elderly (HARDE)
Washington County Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon
Habitat for Humanity
PO Box 806 Forest Grove, OR 97116
Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative & Home Rescue Program
Rebuilding Together Washington County
US Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Department of Agricultural
State of Oregon
Updated: April 18, 2022
Washington County Housing Access Fair
Washington County will host a Housing Access Fair for Supportive Housing Services on April 19 to 21, 11 am to 3 pm at the Washington Street Conference Center. This will be a training for outreach and housing navigators as well as an opportunity for clients to meet their case managers in person. The training is in Hillsboro but located close to the Max Blue Line.
Leadership Tigard in partnership with Just Compassion of East Washington County and the City of Tigard will host an I.D. Workshop at the Tigard Public Library on Wednesday, April 20th from noon to 3:00 PM.
The I.D. Workshop is a community-based effort to support the houseless community in Tigard and Washington County by providing access to resources to obtain an Oregon Identification Card. The workshop will aid to navigate one of the biggest barriers someone experiencing houselessness face, the lack of an ID. To ensure someone has access to a government issued identification means they can apply for a job, apply for an apartment, or open a bank account. It’s impossible to find permanent, stable housing to become “not homeless” without a source of income or ability to apply for housing or needed programs.
This event will help people navigate the process to obtain an Oregon Identification Card, understand the required documents, sign up for our P.O. Box mail program, obtain fee waivers for a no-cost Oregon Identification Card, and help with replacing lost vital documents. The event will also host space for other social service organizations and provide care kits of essential needs compiled by Leadership Tigard and our local business community.
For more information about the I.D. Workshop, please contact:
Just Compassion of East Washington County
Erika Graves, email@example.com
City of Tigard
Brandon Petersen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503-718-2752
Where Can I Find Information on Affordable Housing?
Here are a few links to get you started.
- Washington County Housing Services
- Affordable Housing in Washington County
- Find Affordable Housing in Oregon
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Rental Help: Oregon
- Affordable Housing in Tigard
Is something missing? Let us know if you have links to add.
Activity in Downtown Tigard
The city received a number of calls from downtown business owners about unhoused individuals. The Tigard Police responded by completing an assessment of the area. They also spent time providing resources to unhoused individuals.
Just Compassion Featured on 'Late Night in Tigard'
Mayor Snider interviewed Just Compassion Executive Director Vernon Baker about the resources available for unhoused individuals. Watch the entire clip here.
Point in Time Count in Tigard
The annual Point in Time (PIT) count was conducted on January 26, 2022 in Washington County. The PIT count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing houselessness is an annual survey required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The data collected helps support federal and grant funding for various programs in Washington County. The data collected is being analyzed and the results of the 2022 PIT will be released soon.
We have been working with Just Compassion and the DMV to expand the fee waiver program for Oregon Identification Card. House Bill 3026 passed during the 2021 Legislative Session and waives fees for Oregon Identification Cards and renewals for those experiencing houselessness. Non-profit organizations who work with the houseless can apply for and obtain the form from the DMV.
Talking Tigard Spotlights Affordable Housing Efforts
For the last 27 years, Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) has developed quality affordable housing in Tigard.
In this interview, CPAH Executive Director Rachael Duke talks about the opening of Red Rock Creek Commons in the Tigard Triangle. She also reflects on how Tigard became a statewide leader in affordable housing and how the city can continue to expand its affordable housing opportunities.
We have partnered with Just Compassion to create these brand new resource cards (En Espanol). Email email@example.com to get laminated versions of the cards.
The City of Tigard and Just Compassion of East Washington County continue to be a referral partner to the Bybee Lakes Hope Center that opened last year in the former Wapato Jail property. Two referrals from Tigard were made to their long-term reentry program last week.
Tigard Police Department checked on reports of two illegal encampments. One encampment is on private property and one the second is on ODOT right of way. Community Service Officer has been working with the property owner and ODOT.
Spread the Word... Winter Weather Resources
We are closely monitoring the inclement winter weather and working with Washington County’s Severe Weather Shelter which will activate if freezing temperatures are predicted. The Severe Weather Shelter operates separate from the Winter Shelter Program and accepts walk-ins with a 100 bed capacity. For details, see the current Severe Weather Shelter Activation List or contact at 2-1-1 or 503-222-5555.
Podcast: Washington County Thrives
Affordable Housing in Tigard
We're committed to ensuring fair and equitable housing access for all of its residents. The city provides direct and indirect support to our affordable housing development community through multiple policies and programs. Learn more.
Tigard Adds Capacity for Houselessness Support
The Council approved $500,000 for three-year, term-limited positions to lead houselessness efforts. The positions are funded by the city's allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Question: How do you respond to illegal encampments?
We prohibit camping on city owned or maintained property located in sensitive environmental areas that include wetlands, wildlife habitat areas and flood hazard areas. Tigard Police and Parks Department have been proactive in posting and removing illegal encampments found in these location.
The law requires that we post notice in both English and Spanish at least 72 hours in advance of removing an encampment. Local social services are notified of the camps location and removal date and any personal property located during a cleanup will be held for a minimum of 30 days.
Not all encampments are located on city property. We work with Metro, ODOT, and Washington County as well as private property owners to address illegal encampments not located on our property.
Gap Analysis Informs City Decision-Making
Recently, city teammates completed a gap analysis of services that are available, and those that are needed in the community.
The need for public transportation was identified by the team. We are following up on this need by working with TriMet to obtain Hop Passes.