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.

 

Retiring CEO: Public Safety Threatens Portland’s Future

Jim Johnson is CEO of Tripwire Inc

The Portland Business Journal recently reported the comments of Jim Johnson, retiring  CEO of Tripwire linkpdf version 

“The thing we run the risk on – Portland is a jewel and there are wonderful things in Portland – but we are tolerant of not-so-good behavior, ” Johnson said.

Johnson said he’s had employees telling him they are concerned for their safety at night around the company’s downtown headquarters  (101 SW Main St) because of the aggressive homelessness residents.

“There are certain thing we as community better make sure we do right to be wonderful place to live and attract families, ” he said. “We need to think about the future.”

This means addressing the homeless issues downtown other challenges …