Opponents to Rally Against Plan to Close Portland's Overflow Shelter

There’s opposition to a plan by Portland city councilors to close the city’s overflow shelter for the homeless. Mark Swann, executive director of Preble Street, is a leader of the effort.

"We think the city has made a bad decision," Swann said, "and they’ve made it prematurely without all the facts and they’ve made it without planning."

The overflow shelter has 75 beds. Swann says those beds have been filled every night. He says without the shelter, more homeless will sleep on streets, in doorways, and at other outdoor locations.

Swann is urging people to turn out at the City Council’s Public Safety, Health and Human Service Committee meeting Tuesday evening. Advocates want the panel to recommend that the full council reject the budget decision to close the overflow shelter.

Monday, the organization "Homeless Voice for Justice" announced that it plans to hold a demonstration prior to the committee meeting on the steps of Portland City Hall, where it intends to make up 75 beds to symbolize those who would be displaced.