Fritz to PDX: Make Room for Homeless Camps

Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz startled us in this KGW interview when she stated that “Every neighborhood in Portland will be asked to find a spot to put a homeless camp.”

Apparently she hasn’t noticed the utter failure of the homeless camp experiment just across the river in Vancouver. See Vancouver Allows Public Camping – Here’s What Happened

Fritz- We're going to ask every neighborhood to find place for homeless campIn a recent KGW interview  Amanda Fritz suggested that the state of emergency is beyond the city’s control. Fritz went on to say that all of Portland’s neighborhoods should bear the burden and make space for homeless camps.

Fritz doesn’t seem to care that our neighborhoods, parks and public spaces are already overrun by homeless campers. Residents complain about the garbage, used hypodermic needles, drunkenness, theft and fighting.

It appears that Commissioner Fritz  has abandoned any effort solve the homeless problem in an effective, humane and equitable way. Instead she want the neighborhoods to make room for campers. We thought that during a state of emergency government officials worked to restore balance and order – not make things worse.

Commissioner Fritz is holding a Town Hall on Monday, Nov 30, 2015. Come and tell her where you would like to locate your neighborhood’s encampment. 

Topics will include:
Right to Dream Too (R2DToo) potential relocation

• City of Portland Budget, with particular focus on priorities in Portland Parks & Recreation
• Parks Workers pay and working conditions
• Tree Code (Title 11)

Time: 7:00 to 8:30 PM (Note: We will start and end promptly. You are welcome to attend for all or part of the forum)

Location: PCC SE Campus, 2305 SE 82nd Ave. Portland, OR 97216. Community Hall Annex (COMX).
Spanish language translation will be available.
Light refreshments will be provided. The closest parking is in Lot F on 79th Ave. TriMet operates bus 4 and 72 near the SE Campus.

Please contact Jasmine Wadsworth or send questions
503-823-3008 or email .

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-2036, TTY 503-823-6868 with such requests or visit this site.  Requests must be made by Friday, November 27, 2105.

KGW Feature: Cleaning Up the North Park Blocks

PORTLAND, Ore. — People who live and work near Portland’s North Park Blocks, north of Burnside Street, are relieved that a massive homeless problem has dwindled. Link to KGW story

Over the summer, men and women took over the park and created multiple problems.

Cardinal KGWMichelle Cardinal watched it develop from her window at work. Cardinal is the co-founder of R2C, a marketing business that sits across from one of the park blocks.

She’s not the sort of person who lets problems get the best of her.

When the issue of homelessness came to her door step, she knew it was time for action.

She took security pictures of people sleeping across the entrance of her company. She gathered up other pictures and stories of people being threatened and chased.

Some of the pictures show men and women putting needles in their arms. Two pictures show different sets of people having sex in public.

“We care deeply, not only about the homeless community,” said Cardinal. She also worries about the underlying causes of homelessness.

And she knew she had to speak out when others would not.

“There are a lot of people in this city afraid to speak about this issue. They don’t want to be labeled as heartless or anti-homeless and I would agree with that. And now, once we’ve started this dialogue, now more and more people are having this conversation,” she said.

Summer of ‘Lawlessness’ Gets Portland’s Attention

Summer of 'lawlessness' gets Portland's attention

From The Oregonian Sept 15, 2015

Cardinal said she’s happy that Hales and City Hall are paying attention and that more officers are patrolling. Fewer people linger in the park all day, she said.

But she expects the situation outside her window is “here to stay.”

She’s told Hales as much. “I said, ‘Mayor, the next New York Times piece is not going to be about how great our food and wine are.'”

Click here for full article


Pearl Block Party: Sept 11

Pearl Block Party that is happening on Sept. 11th from 5 pm – 9 pm on 13th Avenue. Beyond being a fun event both for residents and workers of the Pearl, we will have a table set up for new volunteers for the neighborhood foot patrol. 

pearl block party 15

NW Examiner: Civility Collapses on North Park Blocks

Civility collapses on North Park Blocks- Sept 2015
Civility collapses on North Park Blocks- Sept 2015 – click to enlarge

The September 2015 issue of the NW Examiner details this summer’s dramatic decline of the North Park Blocks.
Click here for PDF of article

Our lovely park has become home to vagrants who openly do drugs, have sex, fights and regularly urinate and defecate in public. … This is affecting my business and more importantly, Portland’s prosperity in the long run.” ~ Michelle Cardinal, CEO of the R2C ad agency located on the North Park Blocks.

“Everyone I speak to is talking about the city being out of control… It’s very scary what happening to the city right now … younger ‘road warriors’ with aggressive, unleashed dogs began taking over public spaces.  I have so much compassion of the truly homeless people, but they are not the problem.” ~ Stan Penkin, co-founder of Friendly Steers and a member of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA) Livability Committee.