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Warehouse too costly for homeless camp

by: KOIN 6 NEWS - Plans to move the R2D2 homeless camp into this warehouse have fallen through.The Portland Mayor's Office says the plan to move an embattled homeless camp into a city-paid Northwest Portland warehouse has fallen through.

In early December, Mayor Charlie Hales suggested a move of the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp from Northwest 4th Avenue and Burnside Street to a warehouse on Northwest 4th and Hoyt Street. The warehouse, owned by a trust group in Seattle, would have been leased to the city starting Jan. 1.

However, Hales' spokesman Dana Haynes tells KOIN 6 News that the cost to make the building habitable is just too high.

The plan was proposed as part of a settlement deal the city is trying to reach with the Right 2 Dream Too camp. Homeless people staying in the outdoor Burnside camp sued the city of Portland after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in fines alleging violations of the city's camping ordinances.

This warehouse was one of several options offered by a Pearl District group hoping to keep the city from putting R2D2 beneath the Broadway Bridge in their neighborhood. Now that the warehouse site is no longer on the table, the homeless camp could still end up in the Pearl.

Haynes said Thursday that city leaders will continue to look for a building that will work. After all, he said, there are homeless people out there — and it's winter.