Kenton neighbors debate allowing homeless 'village'

Women's homeless village proposed for Kenton

PORTLAND, Ore. -- An empty lot in North Portland could be home to a homeless women’s village as early as summer.

Dozens of people packed the Historic Kenton Firehouse Wednesday night to learn about the proposal. One homeowner already supports the plans for the empty lot in the 2000 block of North Argyle Street.

“I think it’ll be good for our community to be known as a place of compassion and outreach,” said Dan Brunner. “It will make people want to come here.”

The village would be home to 14 homeless women. They would live in single occupancy pods. There would be common areas for toilets, cooking, and dining. It is not sitting well with some.

“I’m tired of all this free stuff going on,” said homeowner Leonard Crale.

“It’s not that I don’t have a soft heart,” added another homeowner. “A lot of these people are 30, 40, 50 … they’re fully capable of working.”

Some homeowners in Kenton say the plan sounds an awful lot like a homeless camp, but stakeholders say it is not.

“This is a village,” said Trell Anderson of Catholic Charities. “It has security protocols, cleanup protocols.”

The village cannot take shape before a vote by the Kenton neighborhood. That is slated for March 8.

(© 2017 KGW)


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