North Portland neighborhood associations have banded together to take the lead on developing a new strategic approach to address the homelessness crisis in the city. Leaders of several neighborhood associations collaborated and compromised to develop a proposal that can achieve neighborhood buy-in throughout Portland.
In a statement released Tuesday, the NA's say they are incredibly grateful to the volunteer organizations that help and serve people living in camps. They say the city’s project to establish three organized emergency outdoor shelters is a good model, but must be expanded dramatically.
"These efforts are meaningful, but they only scratch the surface of the problem," the statement continued.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the homelessness crisis,” said Tom Hickey, chair of the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association. “Portland’s leaders, neighborhoods and service providers must work together in new ways to build the community that all residents deserve.”
Neighborhood associations make the following recommendations:
Develop safe, legally sanctioned, managed camps throughout the city modeled on the successful Kenton Women’s Village and Dignity Village.
The University Park, Overlook, Bridgeton and Arbor Lodge neighborhood associations have endorsed this new strategy to help Portland’s homeless residents and neighborhoods. They now are working with neighborhood associations, leaders and nonprofits throughout Portland to build support for this approach.