Report Concerns About Homelessness

homeless family on sidewalkThe Salem community's support is critical to helping the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

Help Someone in Need

If you have an immediate concern for anyone's safety, dial 9-1-1.

If you see a person in need:

  • Call the Crisis & Information Hotline at Northwest Human Services, 24/7 at 503-581-5535 or 1-800-560-5535
  • Refer people to ARCHES day use and self-support service center. ARCHES is open Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and located in downtown Salem, 615 Commercial St. NE.
  • Refer people to HOAP Day Center for service needs and support. HOAP is open Mon-Fri 9:00 a.,. to 2:00 p.m. (Mon 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. women only - medical services available on the 2nd Monday of the month), and schedule appointments only 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Located downtown area at 694 Church St NE. Onsite Medical Services offered at HOAP every Wednesday and Medical Bus transportation available from various shelter sites Tues/Thurs/Fri - Call 503-581-5535 for pick-up times.

Make a Complaint about Homeless Camps or Garbage Piles

Do you have a complaint about illegal camping or garbage accumulation? Please complete this online complaint form so that we have all of the information we need to appropriately respond to this issue.

Submit a Neighborhood Complaint to the City

Salem promotes safe and desirable neighborhoods for all members of our community by investigating reports of specific code violations. Staff gives priority to reports where public safety and health are at risk. Salem residents can submit a complaint online relating to a variety of concerns including, abandoned shopping carts, abandoned vehicles, derelict and boarding buildings, health hazards, garbage, and junk removal.

Maintain a Considerate Attitude

The City understands it may be frustrating to see homeless people in your neighborhood, but we encourage you to treat them like anyone else. Do: make eye contact and show kindness to people without stable homes. Avoid perpetuating stereotypes, stigma, and myths. People experiencing homelessness are not defined by their housing status. It's often temporary, and it′s likely they′ve sought housing and/or shelter and there was none available.

Be Deliberate about Your Intentions and Property

Do not offer food, money, or tangible items directly to those unsheltered. Instead, consider donating these items directly to the organizations in Salem that are equipped to manage supplies and food storage. Do not permit anyone to camp on your property, unless you have developed a trusting relationship with them. Do not permit anyone to store shopping carts or personal belongings on your property. Let people know your boundaries on your property using fencing or signs and keep the area in front of your home or property clean and well maintained. Keeping your area clean encourages others to respect the area.

Dealing with Someone Sleeping/Loitering on Your Property

  • Politely ask them to leave using sincere empathetic language that deflects the request from yourself to a third party (e.g. the property owner asks them to leave, even if that person is you). This reduces the power-dynamic and will help in future interactions.
  • Let them know where they can be, such as the day room at ARCHES or Union Gospel Mission, as opposed to only where they cannot be.
  • If they are not cooperative, tell them you are going to call the police, but would rather not. Avoid confrontation and keep a safe distance if you feel threatened in any way. Call the non-emergency police line at 503-588-6123. If they become disruptive or dangerous call 9-1-1.

Who to Call

  • 503-588-6368: Salem Housing Authority, information about affordable housing options.
  • 503-399-9080: ARCHES, connect people to self support resources and day use areas.
  • 800-560-5535: Northwest Human Services Crisis Line, phone help for people in crisis.
  • 503-588-6123: Salem Police non-emergency non-life-threatening concerns
  • 9-1-1: For life-threatening or safety concerns.

Additional Resources

Locate a Shelter
Use the HUD search tool to find a shelter or access a list of areas homeless shelters.

Help and Contribute
Find out how you can support or volunteer with a local organization to help end homelessness in our area.

Who is Homeless
Men, women, youth, and families with children are among the homeless in our communities.

FAQ about Homelessness
The City is working to answer common questions you may have relating to policies, assistance and housing programs.