Mayor Hales holds closed-door meeting to talk homeless issues in - KPTV - FOX 12

Mayor Hales holds closed-door meeting to talk homeless issues in Portland

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Mayor Charlie Hales held a closed-door meeting Monday afternoon to address the issue of homelessness days after a coalition sued the city of Portland and the mayor for the spread of homeless camps.

The mayor's staff said the meeting was not open to the public because they wanted to have a focused discussion on the issue.

Hales staff said the meeting addressed the city's overall strategy when it comes to the issue of homelessness in Portland.

The meeting comes on the heels of recent incidents involving homeless camps around the city, including fires, and a stabbing over the weekend outside Right to Dream Too.

“It’s not the type of thing you like to see, period, to be truthful, and it gives the houseless community a bad notation,” said Ibrahim Mubarak, who co-founded Right to Dream Too, a city-sanctioned homeless camp in Old Town.

Mubarak said he attended the afternoon meeting with Hales, but came away without many answers.

While Mayor Hales staff couldn't comment on the pending litigation, or why members of the group who filed that suit against Mayor Hales weren't allowed into the meeting, they did confirm members of the Portland Police Bureau, neighborhood groups and city bureaus were sitting in on the discussion.

FOX 12 learned Mayor Hales asked each person to bring ideas to the table and it was more of a brainstorming session, but those who weren't allowed in the meeting, people included in the lawsuit, said they are upset they weren't involved in the process.

"Well we're a little frustrated. We've been trying to work with the city on questions of homelessness for going on a year now in the Overlook neighborhood. We've had some limited success but then we learned that the mayor, again, is going his own way with his hand selected compatriots to develop policy that really without having input from neighborhoods, businesses and all of the Portland community it's not going to be effective," said Chris Trejbal with Overlook Neighborhood Association, plaintiff in the lawsuit against Mayor Hales.

The mayor's office said they think the meeting went well and they plan to type up all of their notes and eventually make them public. They also said a public discussion on the issue is also not off the table in the future.

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