Yesterday news broke the City of Portland is exploring the idea to move a homeless encampment into the Pearl District. The proposed site for the encampment is directly underneath the Broadway Bridge via the Lovejoy ramp.

The organization, Right to Dream Too, is responsible for the current encampment in Portland’s Oldtown neighborhood.

 The City should not trade one legally problematic site for another. – Pearl District Neighborhood Association.

According to Right to Dream Too chairman Ibrahim Mubarak, moving the encampment would settle the ongoing lawsuit the City has been battling since last December, with his organization. If the deal is finalized, the City is expected to be waiving over $12,000 in fines. This would be a solid victory for Right to Dream Too.

What’s best for the Pearl District Neighborhood?

Safety is the top priority, explained the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, in a plea to the City of Portland. The group of volunteers, including myself occasionally, works hard to make the neighborhood livable and accessible to everyone. The efforts of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA) have provided housing to below poverty citizens in over five buildings. For example, it’s estimated 22% of the Pearl District’s housing is affordable to lower incomes. The Pearl District Neighborhood Association continues to, “advocate for housing and services for all incomes,” explained Patricia Gardner in her plea to the City. The PDNA explained encampments are not appropriate in the Pearl District or any other neighborhood in the City.

Encampments, such as the one proposed, are indeed in violation of Oregon Fire Life Safety Codes, Public Health Codes, and the Portland Zoning Codes.

With all this in mind, PearlHelp does not endorse moving the encampment. We hope the City will consider these concerns with good thought.

View the Pearl District Neighborhood Association’s full response here.


Image via: OregonLive

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