CARE, Inc. Micro Shelter Project: FAQs

www.tillamookcountypioneer.net

This will be the first Micro Shelter village in Tillamook County designed to provide temporary shelter for those experiencing homelessness. While this concept is new to Tillamook County, it is finding success in other communities along the west coast. CARE Inc. compiled this “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) to provide all the information available about this project. If you have additional questions, please contact CARE Inc.’s executive direction Erin Skaar at eskaar@careinc.org or 503-842-5261.

What is the CARE Micro Shelter Project?
CARE is partnering with community and faith-based organizations to create short term solutions for people experiencing homelessness by creating the first Micro Shelter Village in Tillamook County. CARE received a State grant to create a model temporary housing solution for Tillamook County. This project is following the models used in other communities like Seattle, Portland and Oakland, to create micro shelter communities to provide secure, safe and stable short-term housing. Micro shelters provide better protection from the elements, allow for residents to securely lock and store their possessions and contribute to the aesthetic of the community.

What is a Micro Shelter?
Based on the increasingly popular tiny home concept, a micro shelter is a small, secure living space containing all the essentials for temporary shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The model unit CARE is using for this project is about 100 square feet. Inside, the unit will feature a double platform bed, attached counter and table, a small refrigerator and microwave oven, overhead lighting and a heater. The plans for the shelters have been reviewed with the County and will be thoroughly inspected to ensure they meet all public safety standards for the community and residents. All units will also come with a secure locking door inside a fenced community, ensuring safety, security and privacy for the residents of the village and their neighbors.

Where will you place these Micro Shelters?
CARE is partnering with Tillamook Adventist Church and the Tillamook Christian Center to place micro shelters on their respective properties. Our first village model, that is a site with more than one micro shelter, will be placed behind the Herald Center at the Tillamook Adventist Church. This village will be able to accommodate a maximum of six micro shelters. In accordance with City planning guidelines, the village will be set back from the roadway and fenced, providing privacy for the residents as well as their neighbors. The Tillamook Christian Center will also be hosting one micro shelter on its property. With the success of this project, we hope additional partners throughout the county will come forward to host a shelter or small village on their property.

Who will be living in these shelters?
CARE serves our neighbors in the community who are experiencing poverty and homelessness. The residents of these shelters will be CARE clients who are currently experiencing homelessness. In order to be placed on the wait list to go into a Micro Shelter an individual or family will need to be currently experiencing homelessness, have completed an assessment and be working with a case manager at CARE, and be selected using criteria set by each community. Candidates for the initial phase of this project will be CARE clients who are working toward securing long-term housing, but who need a stable environment to complete that transition. Ultimately, CARE will be well acquainted with the residents of these shelters and will work diligently to find a good match between the client and the village community where they will be placed.

How many people will live in each village?
The village hosted by the Tillamook Adventist Church can accommodate a maximum of six micro shelters. In the first phase of this of this project CARE will place one resident or family into a micro shelter as a proof of concept. Each unit can comfortably accommodate, and is approved for, a maximum of two people. Upon successful completion of our proof of concept and when all the shelters are occupied, the village should be able to comfortably accommodate 6 families or somewhere between 6 to 12 residents at a time.

What amenities will be available in the Micro Shelter villages?
All host sites have agreed to provide water, toilet and shower facilities for residents hosted on their property. These amenities will be available to the residents 24 hours a day, with an exception for routine cleaning. Hosts have also agreed to provide access to laundry facilities where residents may wash their linens and clothing. The host sites will also provide for trash disposal for the residents of the shelters on their properties. Thanks to our host sites, we believe these villages will remain clean and tidy and blend in well with their surrounding community.

Will the residents of the Micro Shelters live their permanently?
No. The micro shelter villages are intended to provide temporary shelter to individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness and who are working toward securing long-term, stable housing. The intention of this program is not to provide a long-term housing solution, but temporary shelter for those on the cusp of securing housing but who need some temporary stability and security to complete their journey to housing stability. Residents may stay in the shelters for a matter of weeks or months if necessary, but the intention is to provide short-term stability and quickly move clients from shelters to long-term housing.

Who is responsible for managing the micro shelter villages?
CARE, Inc. will manage this project with the support and assistance of the host sites of the shelters, Tillamook Adventist Church and the Tillamook Christian Center. CARE will conduct the initial intake and placement of residents, in consultation with the host site. Any issues that emerge at the village will be addressed by CARE, Inc. Ultimately, residents will be free to manage their own affairs, and CARE will be available to provide ongoing support, encouragement and case management for the shelter residents just as they would for any of their other clients.

Why is this project even necessary?
Tillamook County, along with the rest of state and nation, has seen a rise in the number of people experiencing homelessness. We have a serious lack of housing inventory including temporary and transitional shelter beds to stabilize the homeless. Due to a lack of options, our neighbors are forced into tent camping, couch surfing, and living in their cars. Temporary housing helps stabilize families or individuals that are experiencing homelessness while they wait for permanent housing. CARE believes this project provides a cost effective strategy to provide this sort of temporary shelter for our neighbors in the community.

“Micro Shelters provide safe, secure and affordable shelter for those experiencing homelessness,” says Erin Skaar, Executive Director of CARE, Inc. “The great thing about these shelters is that they provide a safe place for those experiencing homelessness to rest and secure their belongings while they work toward transitioning to more stable, long-term housing. We are excited about the success similar projects are having elsewhere and are looking forward to bringing this model to Tillamook County.”
For more information about this project or to learn more about the work that CARE does in the community and how you can get involved, please contract Erin Skaar at 503-842-5261 or eskaar@careinc.org, or www.careinc.org