City Manager's Office
555 Liberty St. SE
Room 220
Salem, OR 97301

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Learn About City Efforts to Address Homelessness

woman in warehouse thumbs upThe Salem City Council recognizes homelessness as a critical problem in our community. We're actively working with partners to reduce hardships that lead to homelessness and increase access to affordable housing for our residents and families with children who are unsheltered or at-risk of becoming homeless. We're taking a collaborative approach and adapting multiple best practices to fit our community.


Setting goals with our partners to:

  • Reduce the need for sheltering in unsuitable locations.
  • Reduce the average time a person is homeless.
  • Reduce the number of homeless individuals in our community.
  • Increase adult employment.
  • Increase the percentage of persons who become sheltered.
  • Reduce barriers to becoming homeless to Include rental assistance, affordable housing, and access to services.

Contributions and Programs

  • Designed and opened Managed Safe Parking Sites across Salem for Individuals who are using their vehicle as their home.
  • Secured funds and parcel for first every Salem Navigation Center - adding 50 more low- barrier shelter beds.
  • Opened Portland Road Pallet shelter and safe parking site for up to 75 guests with direct access to electricity, laundry, washrooms, meals, health and social support.
  • Help in set up of temporary homeless shelter at the Oregon State Fair and Exposition Center for 100 homeless individuals. (winter 2021)
  • Ongoing financial and staff support of the Salem Warming network, which houses homeless individuals during the coldest nights of our winter. Two additional locations opened this year at Portland Road and State Street.
  • Re-designed overnight parking policies to allow for an innovative Safe Vehicle Parking Program, permitting people who are homeless to safely park and sleep in their vehicles in designated parking spaces in our area.
  • Increased staff support for departments working on the homeless crisis in Salem, such as hiring multiple navigator positions at the Salem Housing Authority to work directly with our unsheltered populations on the streets and in parks learning how we can best support their needs and get them back on their feet.
  • Increased shelter capacity for women with the Safe Sleep (United Way) program.
  • Additional patrol with SPD and Code enforcement to check on the health and welfare of individuals in public spaces.
  • Awarding more than $400,000 each year in grants to local non-profits to provide emergency assistance and essential services to Salem residents and families in need.
  • Providing short-term financial assistance with City of Salem Utility bills for households experiencing financial hardships.
  • Offering tax incentives to developers who build affordable housing in our area.
  • Adapting building standards for single-family property owners to add additional units on their property such as basement apartments or converting a single-family home into a duplex.
  • Providing over 3,000 Salem households with affordable rent through our Salem Housing Authority.
  • Committing over $2.1 million to support the Homeless Rental Assistance Program which links chronically homeless individuals to housing, food furnishings and social services. So far, this program has housed more than 300 individuals with an 83 percent success rate in keeping folks in stable housing.
  • Pouring time and resources into understanding our region's growing homeless population, identifying sub-groups including youth families and older adults who need our support.

Frequently Asked Questions about Homelessness in Salem

As the City continues to work with partners to prevent and solve homelessness in our community, we hope to inform our residents about all we are doing and answer common questions relating to policies, programs and how to help.