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Think Out Loud

Overnight Parking

Pete Springer/OPB

The City of Portland passed a resolution in December 2011 allowing homeless motorists to sleep in church parking lots as part of a pilot program.

Five months later, Moreland Presbyterian Church is the first institution to bite. Church officials sent fliers around to neighbors, informing them that it would host one car with a female driver in its parking lot. Some neighbors opposed this and voiced their concerns to the Portland Housing Bureau and the church. They worried about crime, trash and the way in which the church communicated.

The program is governed by multiple guidelines, including a limit on the number of cars hosted per parking lot and access to portable restrooms and garbage services. It is based on an overnight parking program in Eugene.

A facilitated meeting with the church’s pastor, City Commissioner Nick Fish and members of the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood is planned for 7 p.m. on June 4th at Moreland Presbyterian Church.

UPDATE 6/4: Commissioner Nick Fish will not attend the meeting tonight but members of his staff will.

If you are a neighbor of Moreland Presbyterian Church, why do you support or oppose the church’s decision to allow a homeless motorist to sleep in the parking lot? How would you react if a parking lot near your home hosted a limited number of cars with homeless inhabitants?


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