Kenton Women's Village granted extension to remain at North Portland site

Kenton Women's Village. (KATU Photo)

People who live in the Kenton Neighborhood of North Portland voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow a transitional housing village for women to remain at its current site.

The village opened last year as a temporary place to house homeless women as they looked for permanent housing. Although there was some skepticism among neighbors, the village was supported by a majority of the neighborhood.

"They had buy-in," said Tyler Roppe, chairman of the Kenton Neighborhood Association. "There have been neighbors that have spent countless hours volunteering there."

The village was always supposed to be temporary. A low-income housing complex is planned for the site. However, developers have encountered delays. That spurred the Kenton Neighborhood Association to hold a vote on whether to allow the village to remain for up to another year.

According to Denis Theriault, spokesman for Multnomah County's Joint Office of Homeless Services, the vote was 119 to 3 in favor of letting the village remain.

The vote was welcome news to those who live in Kenton Women's Village.

"It's usually 'not in my backyard,'" said Valerie Leszczynski, who's lived at the village since February. "The community, I can't stress this enough, showed us that we're still respected, important people."

It's unclear when the low-income housing complex planned for the site will move forward.

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