Mayor Attends NE Portland Town Hall On Homelessness

Portland, Ore. — Residents of Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood came together for a town hall meeting on Saturday to discuss proposed sanctioned camping sites. Mayor Ted Wheeler was invited to attend and answer questions from the audience about the potential impact on their community.

Organized by Angela Todd, a community reporter for her channel called PDX Real, the meeting aimed to ensure that residents’ voices were heard and that they would have a seat at the table when it comes to city and county government decisions.

Three sites in the Montavilla neighborhood have been looked at or purchased as potential alternative shelter sites. One site owned by Volunteers of America at 8815 Northeast Glisan Street was under consideration but is no longer being considered by the city. The other two sites on Southeast 82nd Avenue, owned by Multnomah County, are turning into safe park sites.

During the meeting, the mayor spoke about what the sanctioned sites would look like and the city’s plan for them. He also addressed concerns that the proposed sites seemed to be located in areas considered more low-income than others, stating that there was a location being considered that would be the opposite of what was described.

One site has already been confirmed by the city earlier this month. The mayor announced on March 9 that the city was in talks to sign a lease for the vacant lot at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 13th Avenue. The site would house up to 100 tents and hold 150 people, providing them access to health services and hygiene facilities that unsanctioned sites would not offer. Urban Alchemy, a California non-profit, will manage the site.