We apologize for the short notice; but we’ve just heard that the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association is hosting a meeting tonight (7:00 pm at Brentwood Darlington Community Center, 7211 SE 62nd Ave) to talk about issues related to the large number of people living in tents adjacent to the Springwater Corridor path near SE 82nd Ave.
As we reported last month, the situation reached a boiling point when business owners, residents, and users of the path shared a variety of concerns about the impact of the people living on the path. One of the activists mentioned in our story on January 14th, Terry Dublinksi-Milton, connected with Vahid Brown, a well-known homeless advocate who has helped establish the Hazelnut Grove camp in north Portland.
The City’s lack of a comprehensive response to homelessness creates many victims.
— from the meeting announcement
Dublinksi-Milton and Brown will be among the list of speakers at tonight’s meeting. Also expected to speak is Portland Mayor Charlie Hales’ Chief of Staff Joshua Alpert and co-owner of the Cartlandia food cart pods Carol Otis. Otis and her husband/business partner Roger Goldingay have been actively working to address the homelessness issue and raise its profile at City Hall. People who live outside are also being notified and offered rides to and from the meeting so their voices can be heard as well.
Here’s more about tonight’s meeting taken from an email signed by Chairman of the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association Eric Wikoff; Southeast Uplift President Robert McCullough; and Southeast Uplift Executive Director Anne Dufay:
Residents, homeowners, bicycle riders and joggers, merchants, and the homeless have reported a steep increase in crime and vandalism at the homeless camp at 82nd and the Springwater trail. Complaints to City Hall have resulted in the arrest of two dangerous individuals in the area. However, there is good reason to host a community discussion of the issue and possible steps to ameliorate the problems.
Eric Wikoff, chairman of Brentwood-Darlington, has noted that “[t]he city must prioritize a viable plan for Springwater Corridor that reduces criminal activity, protects our designated environmental zone, and establishes basic needs services for our homeless population. I hope that you will join me for this discussion to seek the best solution for all parties concerned.”
Everyone is invited to learn and educate others. We have invited elected officials, candidates for office, activists in the homeless community, and representatives from the neighborhood. Activists have also offered to inform and transport campers from the area to the meeting.
The City’s lack of a comprehensive response to homelessness creates many victims. One camper in the area has suffered frostbite. This is unthinkable in our community and we are initiating a crowd funding site to help local activists care for such cases. If you can’t join us, please consider helping. We will be discussing this and other options on Thursday.
Please bring your ideas and solutions.
This meeting is open to everyone — regardless of where you live.
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org
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