Commissioner: List of homeless camps 'shocked people'
Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan said Wednesday that the city is narrowing down the list of potential safe rest village sites.
At an Aug. 4 meeting with Ryan hosted by the Pearl District Neighborhood Association's Livability and Safety Committee, residents said the trash buildup and violence surrounding the homeless camps in Portland's Old Town and the Pearl District have been steadily increasing since June.
Ryan said construction on six managed alternative shelters for the homeless — known as safe rest villages will mark a fresh start in managing the crisis. Approximately 70 sites are being considered, including two near the Pearl District: one at Northwest Sixth Avenue and Glisan Street and the other at Northwest Third and Flanders.
Ryan said city leaders are winnowing down that list to six locations. Construction on the villages is still on track to begin in September.
"It was quite a list, I think it shocked people. Some people really overreacted to it — that's OK," Ryan said. "Really, we just want to be transparent with you all, the assignment list for all of the bureaus' leads was to give us their inventory."
Many residents weren't focused on where the villages might be built, but on how soon they'd make an impact in getting people — and tents — off of the streets.
"At what point will there be adequate safe rest villages for the no-camping code to be enforced?" Mary Sipe asked.
Ryan didn't offer a timeline but said there's momentum behind making more options available.
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