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The City Council will consider buying a new site for the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp in Southeast Portland on Wednesday, despite a recent plea from neighbors for more public discussion of the decision.


The council is scheduled to consider spending up to $254,044 to buy surplus property from the Oregon Department of Transportation for the camp at Southeast Third Avenue and Harrison Street. The camp, commonly known as R2DToo, is currently located in Old Town.

Last week the board of directors of the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition asked the City Council for more public involvement on the relocation decision. The coalition is comprised of 20 neighborhoods in Southeast Portland, including the location where Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz have proposed moving the camp.

“The Third and Harrison site could be a good home for Right 2 Dream, which has proven to be a part of the solution for Portland’s homeless population. But even if the site doesn’t work for that purpose, it may still be a good site for the city to own,” Hales said in a statement after the Wednesday agenda was released.

In a letter sent to the council on July 6, the board says it has not taken a stand for or against the relocation, yet. But the letter says numerous questions have been raised about the new site that deserve more public discussion.

The letter can be read here.

The proposed site is a vacant state-owned parcel located east across railroad tracks and a busy street from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center near OMSI. Some attending the board's last meeting questioned the health impact on camp residents of being moved so close to the tracks and street. The city has been conducting a health study of the site.

Old Town area developers have given the city $846,000 to pay for the relocation.

It's easy to miss the meaning of the council item on the agenda released Friday afternoon. It does not mention the camp, but reads, "Authorize acquisition of surplus property for municipal purposes at SE 3rd and Harrison Streets from the Oregon Department of Transportation not to exceed $254,044 (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Hales and Commissioner Fritz) 30 minutes requested."

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