Mayor seeks state of emergency to address homelessness in Portla - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor seeks state of emergency to address homelessness in Portland

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Mayor Charlie Hales is seeking to declare a state of emergency to address homelessness in Portland.

The mayor's office contacted the city attorney's office on Sunday to begin the legal process. On Wednesday, Hales asked the Portland City Council to vote on an emergency declaration.

According to a release from the mayor's office, declaring a state of emergency will allow the city of Portland, Multnomah County and the state of Oregon to waive zoning codes and convert city-owned buildings into shelters through an expedited process.

Hales said the single-night homeless count in Portland is around 1,800 people, which has hardly changed in two years.

Other cities, including Los Angeles and Seattle, are seeking similar emergency status to address homeless issues.

Hales said the immediate goals of the emergency declaration will be to get all homeless veterans and women indoors by the end of the year, to provide supportive housing to people dealing with mental illness and to enact temporary protection for renters.

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