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Houseless Folks Seek Refuge During and After Harsh Winter; PPB Mostly Absent in Debate

The prolonged and very severe winter was devastating for those in Portland with no shelter. Four individuals died from hypothermia and that did not include a stillborn baby boy who was found with his mother at a bus stop in SE Portland by police responding to a passer-by's 911 call. Unremitting snow, ice, freezing rain and rain resulted in efforts to open shelters and to get as many people as possible into those shelters. Mayor Wheeler opened the Portland Building and other downtown buildings for use as shelters. Although the harshness of the weather has lessened, the hardships on the houseless have not. There have been a number of setbacks for those just seeking a place to exist. Homer Williams, the developer whose plans to use a shipping terminal as a shelter failed (PPR #70), has a new plan to reduce the number of those living outside. His nonprofit organization, Oregon Harbor of Hope, is trying to open five or six 24 hour shelters in existing public and private buildings by the end of the year (Portland Tribune, March 9). Other plans are either in the works or have been established, such as the recently opened Kenton Neighborhood Tiny Home Pilot Project of fourteen homes for women. Talks are proceeding regarding neighbors agreeing to have up to 300 similar tiny homes in their back yards to house those who are homeless. At the end of five years the homes would revert to the neighbors who would also receive tax abatements.

Downtown rest stop Right 2 Dream Too (R2DToo) is expected to move by early June to a parking lot across the river in the Rose Quarter. Previous attempts to relocate were scuttled by developers such as Williams, neighbors, businesses and others with the power and money to ensure the moves would fail. This happened in the Pearl District, the Central Eastside, and a Naito Parkway parking lot plan which was quashed earlier in 2017 by Mayor Ted Wheeler. He indicated nearby businesses, workers and neighbors were "overwhelmingly negative" about the idea (Oregonian, February 18). Further, two Portland Development Companies sued to evict R2DToo as their presence would presumably not fit with a new hotel and redevelopment being planned for this area. A few days before the April 7 deadline at the SW 4th location, the landowners served an eviction notice. The Rose Quarter property quickly became available.

PCW has walked several "beats" over the last few months and most people we found living outside didn't have terrible things to say about the Portland Police, which is a welcome relief. However, it's likely that whatever the Mayor and the business community come up with will include an enforcement prong with the PPB providing the main muscle.

  People's Police Report

May, 2017
Also in PPR #71

Police Kill Black Teen,
  Wound White Man Same Day

  Oregon Police: 31 Shootings 2016-17
City Disbands DOJ Oversight Body
Council Hears Rare Misconduct Appeal
Changes Made to Oversight System
Protests Met with Violence or Hugs
Newspaper Shows Profiling Widespread
Survey: People of Color Fear Profiling
Problems Plague Jail, Sheriff
Training Council Focuses on Tasers
PRB Report: Officer Not Disciplined
Police Absent in Houseless Debate
PPB Asks for Policy Input Again
City, County and ICE
Quick Flashes PPR 71
  • Trooper Slaps Son, Loses Job
  • Chief, Aide Put on Leave
  • Civilian Kills Homeless Man, No Charges
  • Law Will Exclude People from Meetings
Updates PPR 71
  • Mohammed Mohamud's Appeal Denied
Rapping Back #71

Portland Copwatch
PO Box 42456
Portland, OR 97242
(503) 236-3065/ Incident Report Line (503) 321-5120
e-mail: copwatch@portlandcopwatch.org

Portland Copwatch is a grassroots, volunteer organization promoting police accountability through citizen action.

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