Portland set to approve 10 year “temporary” homeless camp—Plus free Streetcar tickets for campers!

Agenda Item 121 Concept Plan 160218

On Thursday, February 18, Portland City Council is set to affirm its commitment to move the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp from downtown to the slowly gentrifying but still gritty Central Eastside Industrial Area.

Council’s plan—developed by Commissioner Amanda Fritz—has some things that might cause Portlanders to raise an eyebrow.

The City’s agreement with R2DToo would run for 10 years. This is perhaps the clearest indication that City Hall knows that it cannot solve the homelessness problem in the foreseeable future. Council has moved from finding a cure to making the disease more comfortable.

The agreement clearly specifies that that the maximum occupancy is 100 campers, but the concept  plan envisions a site that is almost 20 percent bigger. Drawings of the site plan show six 8-person tents and 35 2-person tents, for a total of 118 campers. If you build it, they will come. There is absolutely no way that the city can keep its promise or enforce its agreement that occupancy would be no higher than 100.

Free Portland Streetcar tickets! It’s right there on page 4 of the agreement. Expect every future camp institutionalized by City Council to demand streetcar/bus/MAX tickets.

Transportation. City will provide Streetcar tickets to User at no charge, in amounts to allow campers to access services outside of Property.

Of course, there’s the empty promise that there won’t be any drugs or alcohol on the site. Not even “medical” marijuana.

Apparently weapons will be permitted in the camp. There is no mention of weapons in the agreement, even though five rifles were recently found at one city sanctioned homeless camp and shots were fired last week at another city sanctioned homeless camp.

If you are concerned about the institutionalization of homelessness in Portland, you owe to yourself to read the plan.