On Thursday(18 May 2023), in North Portland, the Peninsula Crossing Safe Rest Village was revealed to a variety of reactions.
The city claims it has sixty tiny cottages to help the homeless find safety and find permanent accommodation. Near N. Syracuse and N. Macrum, it can be found on the Peninsula Crossing Trail.
Urban Alchemy, a non-profit located in California that is collaborating with the city of Portland to manage up to six authorized camping areas or safe rest villages, is in charge of the new site.
Commissioner Dan Ryan, who is in charge of Portland’s safe rest villages, gave the media and nearby residents a tour of the new facility on Thursday.
Commissioner Dan Ryan wrote on Facebook on Thursday I thought of three words today. I was Happy.
Portland has given Urban Alchemy $50 million to run these locations and to pay for new employees. Urban Alchemy’s approach is to hire personnel who were once convicted or homeless to give them a second opportunity, and the organization states that most of its Portland staff are being found through local parole offices and sheriff’s offices.
The New Safe Rest Village in Portland is shown in the video below.
“What we’ve generally found is that people with those kinds of experiences are able to support the homeless communities in ways that others might not be able to,” said Jeffers Dickey, who will be in charge of all Urban Alchemy operations in Portland.
George Siebert, who has lived in the same house for decades and was invited to Thursday’s site visit, is one such neighbor. He and his wife have been complaining about the site’s construction because they can hear the flushing of toilets from their bedroom.
“Five feet from our property, they are allowed to put a structure. This is city code and it applies anywhere, any kind of structure,” said Sibert gesturing toward the bathrooms through his living room window. “So this is what I look at now.”
The Peninsula Crossing Village’s bathrooms, according to the city’s safe rest villages program staff, were strategically located near Siebert’s home so that they would be close to water lines and other facilities.
Because the land is leased from the Portland Housing Bureau until June 2025, with future plans to create affordable housing units on the site, the staff has stated that the bathrooms and the village as a whole are transitory.
During his question-and-answer session with the media, Commissioner Dan Ryan addressed George Siebert’s worries about the lack of restrooms in the stadium. Siebert and other worried neighbors joined television crews to listen to Ryan’s comments.
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“Know that for right now that’s where they’re located, and I hope they will be as quiet as they’ve been at the other sites, and we’ll be in communication with you,” said Ryan. “And as I said earlier, we have to get moving.”
Seibert says for the time being all he can do is wait for the Urban Alchemy team to keep in touch with him and address his concerns as they arise.
“They made a kind of an effort to introduce themselves, a couple of the people, and they were very polite,” said Siebert. “We will see when things get rolling, we’ll find out how things are going. But right now we don’t know.”
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