Join us for Steering Committee and workgroup meetings at our office:
Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
4815 Northeast 7th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97211
Join us for General Assembly meetings at:
The ReBuilding Center
3625 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, OR 97227
The Village Coalition is a network of people with lived experience of houselessness and their allies working to provide low-cost housing to all people who need it by restoring relationships between unhoused and housed people and by increasing the resilience and adaptivity of our local neighborhoods. The Village Coalition catalyzes systemic change by:
Designing and Building tiny home villages and their supportive infrastructure;
Educating the public and policymakers with the expertise of people with lived experience of houselessness;
Nurturing emerging villages and the local support networks that sustain them;
Advocating for changes to public law, regulations, and budgets;
Facilitating transformative dialogue between housed and unhoused people;
Investing in village-based microenterprises.
In the Summer of 2015, a few months before the Portland City Council’s declaration of a Housing State of Emergency, residents of an organized tent camp on a triangle of unused public land at the intersection of North Greeley and Interstate Avenues in Portland were informed that they were to be “swept” from the property. Without any alternate shelter available, camp residents decided that they would not cooperate with the planned sweep. In making this decision, they were inspired both by the Occupy movement and by the examples of Dignity Village and Right 2 Dream Too, two nearby autonomous village communities that serve houseless people, each of which began as acts of civil disobedience but are now officially sanctioned by the City. Using the General Assembly process, camp residents wrote their own rules of conduct, set their own development goals, christened their new community “Hazelnut Grove” and declared their intention to stay.
Local housed activists amplified their message on social media and at City Hall, eventually resulting in the Mayor’s agreement to call off the sweep and instead supply the camp with fencing, port-a-potties, and monthly trash service. Emboldened by this success, the supporters and residents of Hazelnut Grove began meeting regularly, planning not only how to continue supporting Hazelnut Grove, but also how to replicate the village-building process elsewhere in the region. In February of 2016 this group began calling itself the Village Coalition, and in October of that year the Village Coalition was formed as a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
Founding organizational partners of the Village Coalition include the direct-service groups Advocacy5, Backpacks of Hope, Boots on the Ground PDX, plus The ReBuilding Center, City Repair, Open Architecture, and Portland State University’s Center for Public Interest Design.