Partners Work on Temporary Homeless Shelter at State Fairgrounds

Posted on January 23, 2021

City of Salem – 01/22/21 3:00 PM

Salem, Ore. Work to create a temporary homeless shelter at the Oregon State Fairgrounds is underway now by the City of Salem, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action AgencyChurch @ the Park, and other local homeless advocates.

“Homelessness and housing are City Council priorities and COVID-19 adds a layer of complexity, said Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett. I’d like to thank the State of Oregon, State Fair Board, as well as nonprofit advocacy groups for stepping up to lead this effort coordinating the temporary shelter.”

This concerted effort comes as local leaders contend with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, limited homeless shelter space in our region, and City preparations to carefully conclude overnight camping in Wallace Marine Park and Cascade Gateway Parks which began as part of the City’s Emergency Housing Declaration approved by City Council last winter.

While contracts still need to be signed, the temporary homeless shelter will offer a place to sleep and shower for at least 100 residents in a socially distanced 30,504 square foot arena.

Shelter sponsors, including the City of Salem, Church at the Park, a Salem Leadership Foundation program, and Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency are grateful to the Oregon State Fairgrounds management team as the charge for renting the State-owned property will be significantly reduced.

The operational aspects of the shelter will be managed by Church of The Park, including 24/7 staffing, handling security contractors, custodial services, and assisting shelter clients with access to stable housing programs, mental health services, and other health and human service programs.

The City, including the Salem Housing Authority, remains committed to expanding shelter programs, mitigating impacts, and working with local leaders to reduce barriers that lead to homelessness. For more information, including how community members can get involved in expanding housing programs or volunteer in support of homelessness, visit our website or email

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