Neighborhood Associations, activists and policymakers from all over the city are discussing the homelessness situation and trying to form a coalition to affect city policy. BNA Chair, Tom Hickey, feels strongly that the neighborhood associations, in alliance, can form a strong community to promote change, and that it is our duty to direct this strength towards building a more just and equitable world. Security and sanitation for those suffering from homelessness will pay dividends to the rest of us in the form of a more stable community. You can watch the recorded video at 6-16-20 Homelessness Zoom Meeting
The Bridgeton Neighborhood Association, in cooperation with other concerned NAs, invites all Portland Neighborhood Associations and other interested parties to a virtual meeting to discuss our role in taking action to fight the homelessness crisis plaguing our city.
A number of North Portland NAs have endorsed the North Portland Joint Statement on Homelessness, which at its core, recommends that NAs throughout the city should support negotiated locations for organized camps where the unsheltered can find sanitation and security, along the model of the three recently opened camps in the city. We are confident that other associations throughout the city have struggled with this question, and no doubt have constructive suggestions to bring to the conversation.
Please join representatives from neighborhood associations across Portland for a conversation on how to move forward.
Portland Neighborhood Associations
Joint Action on Homelessness
Tuesday, June 16, 6 pm-8 pm
Thesis: The Neighborhood Associations throughout Portland must take an active role in addressing the homelessness crisis in the city. Participation in the development of solutions in three-way partnership with homeless advocacy groups and with policymakers allows us to create better outcomes for neighborhoods and for victims of the crisis.
Please RSVP to email@example.com for Zoom Meeting information.
Tom Hickey, Bridgeton Neighborhood Association, 2020 Chair
May 9, 2020
Working in collaboration with the other neighborhood associations in the North Portland Neighborhood Services community, the Bridgeton Neighborhood Association has developed the North Portland Joint Statement on Homelessness to help the city move forward in our struggle with the homelessness crisis. As of May 8, Bridgeton, Arbor Lodge, University Park and Overlook NA boards have voted to support this statement. The remaining North Portland boards are still in discussion.
Obviously we would all like to see an end to this social blight. Not only does it represent human suffering and despair, it creates conditions that lead to crime, disease and a degradation of humane living for all of us. We cannot wish it away - we cannot demand it take itself elsewhere and leave us to our idyllic ignorance of the crisis - we, as residents of the Portland community need to face the hard question: What, exactly, are we willing to do about it? We can donate to charity, we can demand that the city remove obstacles to getting the Bybee Lakes Hope Center up and running, but these are only partial solutions. While we fix the long-term problems of housing affordability and the gaps in our mental health policy, we need immediate solutions that bring people services and at the same time restore our streets to something resembling law and order. We need more managed camps and we need them throughout the city.
The next step in this process is to ask what public spaces within the community could accommodate such a thing? A managed camp should be equipped to handle people safely and with dignity, provide basic services, sanitation, and access to public transportation, and the stable base from which to rebuild their lives. In exchange for creating an environment that respects the needs of the homeless, we gain the moral authority to demand respect for our own lives and livelihood.
We will be discussing this topic at the May virtual board meeting on Tuesday 5/12.
Please write to me with your thoughts.
Bridgton Neighborhood Association