SUBJECT: Emergency Sanctioned Sites for Houseless/ Homeless
Dear County Chair Deborah Kafoury and City Commissioner Dan Ryan:
At our February 3, 2021 Woodstock Neighborhood Association meeting, our community members and Board discussed the current houseless/ homeless situation in our city, a near monthly routine for the past years. This time we were fortunate to be joined by State Representative Rob Nosse informing us of important issues in the legislature and sharing his thoughts about our chronic homelessness/ houselessness problem in the Portland area, which he also laid out in a letter to you.
WNA supports and engages in several activities with neighborhood partners to assist the homeless/ houseless. In our February discussion, we agreed that the current reality of having people camp at the curbsides in business and residential areas, in schoolyards, and in public parks is not a sustainable concept for our city. Continuous “sweeps” and relocations of houseless/ homeless camps are neither. The trash and feces accumulations are not only a growing aesthetic issue in our urban environment but also turning into a serious health and safety problem. The situation is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis for the houseless/ homeless, and our community urges you to develop reliable ethical future solutions for our houseless fellow residents.
We realize the many difficulties a program for sanctioned sites brings forth. WNA perceives Representative Rob Nosse’s objective as a good start to the process. Our discussion established that WNA members are in full support of creating emergency sanctioned camping sites in Portland, which are not subject to HUCIRP sweeps and that sites be provided with hygiene stations and regular trash removal. We urge you to consider sanctioned sites and the implementation of associated support programs and maintenance structures as a first step to alleviate the crisis.
In our capacity as a neighborhood association, we are also committed to share the voices, views, and concerns of our neighbors/ constituent members, many of whom share the sentiments of Representative Nosse’s letter. In order to ensure to be part of the ongoing discourse and to mediate the dialogue about sanctioned sites we request that neighborhood associations be kept in the loop about the administrative process and be allowed to provide feedback regarding possible sanctioned sites and associated programs.
Anna Weichsel, WNA Chairperson
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