After holding two forums on Sept. 6 to hear from the community and area business owners about their thoughts on the shelter, they issued a statement on Wednesday, addressed to Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Marc Jolin, director of the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services saying they “cannot support” the proposal.
They say they recognize that the city is in a homeless crisis, but that over-concentration of homeless services in that district — which has the highest number of homeless individuals sleeping on its streets on a given night, at around 350 — poses a detrimental impact to the neighborhood, inviting crime and a negative effect on business and tourism.
“As you saw in our presentation during the September 6th meetings, Old Town Chinatown has the highest crime-rate concentration in all of Portland. You also heard the feedback from our residents that they are not just fearful for their lack of safety and security, but are pleading with the City for more support after having a neighbor recently stabbed to death, watching open drug deals on our streets, and the recent drive-by shooting on NW 4th and Everett,” the statement reads.
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