Art in the Pearl 2017

Art In The Pearl®, Portland Oregon’s annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, occurs every year on Labor Day weekend. The 21st annual festival will occur Labor Day Weekend, 2017 in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks – September 2-4, 2017. The Festival is FREE and requires NO TICKETS for entry.

Art In The Pearl has been named one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country (source: Art Fair Source Book). Our festival fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages. More info

Photos by Art in the Pearl

Free Yoga in the Park

Yoga in the Park! R2C Group will be hosting the 2nd annual ‘Yoga in the Park’! No sign up necessary, bring a mat, and join us at Park and Davis! Feel free to invite friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Yoga in the Park will be hosted on the following days 12PM-1PM: July 18th, July 25th, August 1st, August 15th, August 22nd, and August 29th.

Big shoutout to our Park Blocks neighbors – R2C Group

Oregon bill would allow people to camp in parks

This proposed state law would turn our city and state parks into  camps. It even includes a provision that would make it illegal to remove personal belongings that people might leave behind.

Contact your city, county and state representatives and tell them that while homelessness is NOT a crime, our parks were NOT designed to shelter people in camps. Portland needs affordable housing. Warehousing people in our parks is not the answer.

The photo above was taken in the North Park Blocks ~ Summer August 2015.

Reposted from KOIN 6

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new bill aimed at decriminalizing homeless camping in public spaces has already drawn harsh criticism from locals who are worried about growing camps in their neighborhoods.

But supporters of House Bill 2215, otherwise known as the Oregon Right to Rest Act, say people should have the chance to sleep anywhere that isn’t private property.

“Why do we have to fight to sleep when it’s a human right?” homeless advocate Ibrahim Mubarak asked.

HB 2215 would allow homeless people to use public spaces freely “without discrimination and in time limitations that are based on housing status.”

It would also ensure those camping on public property wouldn’t be subject to “harassment, citation or arrest by law enforcement officers, public or private security personnel or employees of local governments.” If passed, the bill would make it nearly impossible for law enforcement to sweep camps.

Mubarak is in favor of HB 2215. He thinks homeless people in the area should be allowed to sleep in public spaces like city parks with little to no recourse.

“If they get housing for everybody, this problem wouldn’t exist,” he said.

While some opponents agree — and want to see the homeless better served — they say pop up encampments in parks near homes and schools aren’t the solution.

“It frees the city or the state from having to deal with the homelessness problem,” East Portland resident David Potts, who opposes the bill, said. “You really don’t have to create any housing for them if you’ve just made it state law that they can camp in any place.”

Another part of the bill that’s concerning to some has to do with protecting homeless people’s belongings. Residents are concerned that if people abandon their tents, shopping carts and other property, not much could be done to clean it up.

So far, HB 2215 has only been introduced in the House.

North Park Blocks to Host “Sleeping Pods” Exhibit

Click image to enlarge

The North Park Blocks is proud to be selected to host a display of more than a dozen attractive, innovative, and portable “sleeping pods” in downtown Portland—many of them created by premier Portland architecture firms. Partners On Design (POD) Initiative is a collection of architects, design students, and others, all bringing their best ideas for small structures the public might accept in their neighborhoods.

Using $35,500 in city funding, and leveraging ideas from some of Portland’s top design minds, the effort has been working since early October toward an exhibition in the city’s North Park Blocks from December 9 to 11 at the north end of the blocks near PNCA.  In all, 14 innovative prototypes will be on display.

See more at Portland Mercury Advocates Are Making Their Strongest Pitch Yet for New Homeless Villages

Terminal 1 or Wapato: Better Than Dying on PDX Streets

Day Campers on North Park Blocks ~ Aug 2015
Day Campers on North Park Blocks ~ Aug 2015

The sad truth is that the down trodden sleep on our streets with no treatment or protection and people are increasing dying. Our current policies are not working. We need more shelter beds and a consistent street policy to eradicate unregulated, unsanitary and unsafe street camping. Terminal One or Wapato – are real impactful solutions – big enough to make a measurable impact, giving people a roof and safe haven for sleep and nourishment. The argument that a large shelter concept would be warehousing homeless is the least of our worries when people are dying on our streets. ~ Michelle Cardinal

From: 88 Homeless People Died on Portland-Area Streets Last Year by Rachel Monahan, Willamette Week, Sept 9, 2016

The number of homeless people who died in Multnomah County rose sharply in 2015—to 88, up from 56 the year before.

That’s the highest number of deaths since the county and the Street Roots newspaper began compiling the data in 2011 for a report entitled “Domicile Unknown.”

It’s may be a first, official indication that the number of homeless Portlanders has risen sharply since the last count in January 2015.

The lack of affordable housing is a contributing factor, says Street Roots executive director Israel Bayer.

“We’re not getting people into housing at a quick enough pace to save the lives of people who are elderly and vulnerable,” says Bayer. “There are more people on the streets because we’re not moving people inside.”

Using the same method since 2011, the county has tallied the number of deaths investigated by the medical examiners’ office.

In all, 17 homeless women died in 2015, up from four in 2014. The number of African-Americans rose to 10 from seven. The number of homicides rose from one to five. Women died at an average age of 41; men at an average age of 50.

Drugs or alcohol contributed to 44 deaths in 2015, up from 31 in 2014. Deaths related to heroin or other opiates remained relatively flat: 19 in 2014, 22 in 2015.

As in years’ past, roughly an equal number of homeless died from April through September and October through March.

Here’s a link to the report.