Getting homeless campers’ tents off of public sidewalks and into managed campsites is one of the priorities of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for the new year.
Homeless Campers’ Tents: From Main Neighborhoods to past the City Limits
In Portland, from the city’s core to the neighborhoods and beyond the city’s boundaries, the tents seem to be all over.
Homeless Campers’ Tent: Mayors Before Wheeler Couldn’t Seen to Find a Solution
Years before Wheeler was mayor, the mayors that preceded him, couldn’t find solutions to the homeless “problem.”
Wheeler is ready to take another shot at the homeless situation now he is newly reelected for another four years.
Homeless People: Block Sidewalks, Block Businesses and Access to People’s Homes
“We all know we can’t continue to have a situation where we have hundreds and hundreds of tents blocking sidewalks, blocking businesses, blocking access to people’s homes,” said Wheeler.
Move the tents and campers into large, managed camps. So that is the mayor’s plan. Affordable housing would be another alternative maybe a long-term solution. Nah forget about it!
So Much for Bigger Strategies!
“We’re also gonna have to look at bigger strategies, like extending our managed camp system, potentially creating areas that are safe camp areas where people know that if they pitch a tent and there are some areas – perhaps out by the airport – there are some areas closer to the central city, if we identify those places and say look, in a pinch you can camp here,” he said.
Three Large Campsites Near Willimette River
The city has already set up three large campsites on the east and west sides of the Willamette River to help those without a home stay safe during the pandemic.
An Advocate Speaks out on the Homeless Population Stressing Moving Their Tents Hurts Them More Than Helps
Advocates like Kaia Sand, the executive director of Street Roots, says forcing people to move their tent will make more people sick. In turn, they will move farther away from help.
Sand said whenever we’re dealing with homelessness, of course, we’re dealing with people. They are people in poverty. That is what’s going on. These are people in extreme poverty. Sand said everyone in society should own the fact that poverty is part of our society. So the last thing we should be doing is making life harder for the people who are suffering the most,” she said.