The Portland City Council is taking public comment about encampment sweeps at their meeting this Tuesday, September 26, at 5pm. Please attend and make your voices heard, OR email them before September 25 at 12pm to ensure your comments are included in their packets!
Last week, Preble Street shared our recommendations for action steps on how to solve the unsheltered homelessness crisis in Portland. With the City Council meeting this Tuesday, we must focus on the best solutions for how we can move more people out of tents and into shelter.
The state and City are actively exploring sweep dates for the encampment on and near the Park & Ride at Marginal Way. As we’ve seen and the research shows, sweeps just shift the public health concerns of an encampment to a different location without providing real solutions. If this next sweep occurs when we haven’t changed our approach, Portland and its citizens will keep facing the same challenges again and again.
To truly resolve this crisis before the cold of winter, join Preble Street in asking the City to:
- Lower the barriers at the City’s Homeless Services Center (HSC): By successfully addressing the operational issues raised by the people the shelter is intended to serve – including curfews, all gender dorms, nighttime lighting, and shuttle services – the City will ensure that those most in need of shelter can utilize it. Making operational changes at the HSC and adding new resources, including health care, case management, shelter, and housing will make a real impact and decrease the number of people in the encampments.
- Delay any future sweeps until at least one week after the new Riverside shelter opens around Thanksgiving: Right now, there are more than 220 tents throughout the City of Portland. By waiting until after the 179 bed Riverside shelter is open, we will better be able to meet the needs of the people who are unsheltered in Portland.
As a community, we must work together to implement viable solutions to the unsheltered homelessness crisis. Please support the above proposals by attending the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 26 OR emailing the City Council before noon on Monday September 25.
Thanks for all you do to support our neighbors experiencing homelessness!