Throughout my nine years in office, I have supported community-led solutions to addressing Portland’s housing and shelter shortage — most recently, a four-year-long effort to relocate Right 2 Dream Too to its current location in the Lloyd District. In the past year, the City and Multnomah County have allocated over $52 million to transitional housing, shelter, rent assistance and mental health/addiction services. While these resources and coordination efforts have not resulted in enough places to house everyone immediately, significant progress has been made. Houseless community members deserve sustainable, permanent solutions, and shelters near good transit and services.
Houselessness is not a crime. Yet parks are for everyone, not open for settlement by particular individuals or groups. Encampments are not sustainable in a park or natural area, neither of which are designed to have people living there. Big Four Corners is an important natural area in outer Northeast Portland and Gresham, with fragile wetlands and streams. It is far removed from basic services. It is not an appropriate place to house people.
Park Rangers will be coordinating with social service providers to connect campers with appropriate resources, and keep this park for its intended public purposes.