Safe Rest Village adjacent to Portland school worries parents
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Community members are ringing out the proposed locations for two safe rest villages in southwest Portland at meetings of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
Neighbors said the Sears Armory site was announced a few weeks ago, which came as a nasty surprise to many residents and parents who send their children to a nearby school.
In the meantime, those who live in or send their children to a school near the proposed southwestern Naito site are also trying to get more responses from the city.
Some are in favor of the Safe rest villages in these places, but many others oppose it. For both groups, one of the main concerns of residents near the two sites is the prevention of camping outside the villages and the problems that arise from it.
“Our number one concern is obviously the safety of the children of the hundreds of children aged 5 to 14 who are going to be in school,” said a parent from West Hills.
Parents at West Hills Christian School are concerned about the proposed Safe Rest Village near the site of the Sears Armory, adjacent to the school.
âConsumption of drugs, needles, other waste, human excreta, vandalism and other crimes. As the parents you know, we are very concerned about the choice of the city to help again a vulnerable group, to put another in danger â, explained a parent.
One of the main concerns is what will happen across borders. The Multnomah Neighborhood Association and the Downtown Neighborhood Association discussed it in meetings this week.
“These tent camps are accompanied by an increase in crime, break-ins, theft, drug use, trafficking, loitering, fires, all of which would present a concern for the safety of the students” said a West Hills parent.
Some people spoke in favor of the proposed sites.
âI want to express a voice of support for the program. My family moved here from Idaho to Portland in 1959, and one thing we’ve learned is that the Portlanders help each other, âsaid a West Hills parent in support of the proposed sites.
âI am another voice of support for this proposal. We are in a state of emergency regarding homelessness, âsaid another parent.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association hopes to get more answers and solutions by working with the city.
âPerimeter camping is our biggest problem, we’re talking about it,â said Darlene Urban Garrett of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Homelessness Panel.
Another member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Homelessness Panel, David Dickson explained, âIf we can develop a model of collaboration, it could be a model for the whole city.
Residents and parents of schools near both locations want to know who will be referred to stay in these safe rest villages, or if there will be screening.
There are concerns about criminals or sex offenders potentially living near schools. Urban Garrett said the Downtown Neighborhood Association is currently working to try to understand this piece.