Navigation Center to Open in Salem as Resource for Unsheltered

Posted on April 6, 2023

Facility Open House April 24, 2023

Salem, Ore. –The new Salem Navigation Center (located at 1185 22nd St. SE), the first of its kind in Marion County, will serve Salem’s unsheltered, operating 24-hours a day, seven days a week, as a low barrier shelter. It will feature 75 beds and intensive case management to connect people to public benefits, health services and permanent housing.

“Addressing homelessness is my top priority, and the Navigation Center gives the city another way to tackle the issue. Low-barrier shelters are instrumental in solving this crisis, and we’ve been impatiently waiting for this to open,” said Salem Mayor Chris Hoy. “Before long, these 75 beds will be filled with folks who were previously on the streets. Imagine the difference this shelter will make on their lives.”

On April 24, at 8 a.m., the City of Salem and community partners will celebrate the launch of the Salem Navigation Center with an open house event.

Marion County is home to 8% of total homeless statewide, according to the Mid-Willamette Valley Homeless Alliance “Gaps Analysis” published August 2021. The Mid-Willamette region’s population experiences high rates of chronic homelessness.

A recent State of Oregon shelter study identified the need for a navigation center in our region. Navigation centers have shown strong success in helping people exit homelessness. Traditional shelter models require sobriety upon entry, segregate by gender, and offer limited space for personal possessions or service animals. Navigation centers help people make a first step in accessing services, allow all genders and do not require sobriety for entry. Navigation centers also help reduce pressure on existing cooling and warming sites as it expands capacity throughout the hottest days and during the cold winter months.

Salem’s Navigation Center will work in partnership with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. The project received two-years of operating funding from the Oregon Legislature.

Additional information about Salem housing and shelter programs is available online.

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