LOCAL

What's that building near 22nd and Mission streets in southeast Salem being used for now?

Natalie Pate
Salem Statesman Journal
A building located at 1185 22nd St. SE will be used as a new homeless navigation center.

Project: Homeless shelter and resource facility, also known as Salem's Navigation Center

Address: 1185 22nd St. SE 

Description: Salem will soon have a new one-stop-shop resource center and shelter for community members experiencing homelessness. It's known as a navigation center. 

A navigation center connects people with public benefits, health services and permanent housing, and is more accessible to some since it doesn't have as many requirements to use it.

These centers — which allow walk-ins — also provided public toilets and a place to rest and recuperate from living outdoors.

City officials said navigation centers have shown strong success in other parts of the country in helping people "exit homelessness," often giving them access to important first steps.

Traditional shelter models require sobriety upon entry, segregate by age and gender, and offer limited space for personal possessions or service animals, officials explained.

By contrast, navigation centers allow couples and family units to stay together and do not require sobriety for entry.

Officials said navigation centers also help reduce pressure on existing cooling and warming sites since they expand capacity throughout the hottest days and during the coldest months.

Salem's new navigation center will add 50 shelter beds to the citywide total.

A building located at 1185 22nd St. SE will be used as a new homeless navigation center.

The Salem City Council this summer approved the acceptance of a $5 million grant from the State of Oregon for the development and operation of the project, as well as the purchase of the property itself.

Salem's navigation center will work in partnership with the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, which will lease the building from the city and manage the center.

Since the real estate agreement was finalized in late July, Salem city officials said they will begin building improvements in preparation for the agency to accept guests by Nov. 1, 2021.

For more information, go to cityofsalem.net/Pages/salem-navigation-center.aspx.

See construction near you? Let us know. Contact reporter Natalie Pate at npate@statesmanjournal.com, Twitter @NataliePateGwin, or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist.

This coverage is only possible with support from our readers. Keep up on local news in Marion and Polk counties by becoming a Statesman Journal subscriber and get unlimited digital access to stories that matter.