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A majority of a board committee says no to a managed homeless camp on a vacant Northeast Portland property.

COURTESY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - Part of the vacant land in Northeast Portland.Portland school board members voted "no" to turning a vacant lot owned by the district into a Safe Rest Village site for the homeless on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Board member Gary Hollands said what's best for students is at the forefront of every decision the panel makes.

During an afternoon Portland Public Schools Facilities and Operations Committee meeting, two of the three school board members who sit on the committee decided they won't allow the city to put a Safe Rest site on the piece of PPS land.

City Commissioner Dan Ryan proposed the 2-acre vacant lot along Northeast 42nd near Killingsworth as the third site for a homeless village in November — with room for 60 people living in housing pods.

"I think it's a noble idea. I think we need to do something, and one thing I do appreciate about Commissioner Ryan is that he's trying to do something right. You know, it's not just talk, he's trying to actually get stuff done," Hollands said.

PPS owns the lot where Whitaker Middle School and Adams High School used to stand. The district demolished the building back in 2007.

Hollands said the district doesn't have plans for the space but wants to keep its options open.

"With us having to do a relocation of our kids at Tubman Middle School, due to the I-5 expansion, you know, it just made sense for us to make sure we have every option available," Hollands said.

"It just didn't line up with our mission of our kids," he added.

Metro, the elected regional government, had previously rejected a request from Ryan to established a managed homeless camp on a portion of the parking lot of the Portland Expo Center that it operates.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.


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