PORTLAND, Ore. – A small group of people chanted and walked out of a city council meeting as it started Wednesday, then walked to the office of city commissioner Amanda Fritz and held a brief sit-in.
The group was made up of organizers and managers of a would-be homeless village.
"Village of Hope" set up a homeless village in the Four Corners natural area last month. The land is protected public property. Park rangers and police cleared them out after about a week, and after several warnings.
But the group says Fritz, who is commissioner in charge of parks, had been unresponsive to their request for a meeting. The group was told Fritz had been traveling recently, making it hard to arrange a meeting. The sit-in produced the desired result: a meeting set for next Tuesday.
“For the first time in a long time houseless people are being their own voice. They are able to speak out and say this is what we are experiencing, this is what we are doing on the street,” said organizer Pastor Steve Kimes.
The sit-in lasted for about 15 minutes.