PORTLAND -- As record-breaking cold temperatures set in Wednesday the need to find a more permanent solution for some 80 homeless men and women has become more dire.
For years The Right to Dream Too homeless camp has occupied a lot at Northwest 4th Avenue and West Burnside Street.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said the solution is a warehouse at Northwest 3rd Avenue and Hoyt Street. The city has brokered a deal to lease the property for 15 months at a cost to taxpayers of $10,000 dollars per month.
“It gives us a chance to get these folks warm and off the street,” Hales said. “I'm unapologetic about spending a little bit of public money to solve this problem.”
After the lease is up though the group would still need to find another place to stay. But the mayor said keeping the homeless out of the cold has been a main concern and the warehouse would take care of that.
“It’s not perfect but sometimes, when you're dealing with urgent problems like this, the perfect is the enemy of the good,” Hales said. “We think this is a good solution.”
Hales halted an earlier deal to move the camp to a space under the Broadway Bridge that neighbors were opposed to.
An attorney for Right to Dream Too said the bridge location was still the group’s preferred option because it is more permanent.
“They're free to take this offer or leave it,” Hales said. “I hope they take it.”