Neighbors voice concerns over new NE Portland homeless shelter - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbors voice concerns over new NE Portland homeless shelter

Posted: Updated:
Concerned resident talking in front of a community meeting about a new 24-hour homeless shelter.(KPTV) Concerned resident talking in front of a community meeting about a new 24-hour homeless shelter.(KPTV)
Hansen Building (KPTV) Hansen Building (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There were some tense moments at a community meeting in northeast Portland Thursday night. Many neighbors are objecting plans for the former Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office building to become a 24-hour homeless shelter.

“They’re being forced to jaywalk, and I can’t blame them for not wanting to walk down “methmobile lane” with all of those RVs doing illicit things, and it’s forcing our kids to be in an environment where they’re not safe,” said Laurie Fowlkes, concerned parent and employee at Portland Christian Schools.

“Wearing my parent hat, I’m terrified!” Fowlkes exclaims. 

Fowlkes fears things are about to get much worse.

“It’s not okay for child safety to fall below the rights of the homeless,” said Fowlkes.

Within a month, there will be up to 200 new faces in the neighborhood. Multnomah County’s Hansen Building, on 122nd and Glisan, is transforming into a 24-hour multimillion dollar homeless shelter.

The city and county’s Joint Office of Homeless Services, along with Transition Projects, Inc., plans to offer housing and programs, with employees overseeing the shelter.

While many neighbors agree that addressing homelessness is a priority, some say the cost of doing it in their neighborhood is far too steep.

“The one kid that does get raped, molested, or killed, this place is going to be responsible. And we’re going picket the hell out of this place!” one person yelled at the community meeting.

It was standing room only for a community meeting to address a wide range of concerns from property values, and safety in public parks, to the fact that residents weren't included in decision making about the shelter.

“This is not safe for our community and our children, and I am outraged at the way this process totally blindsided and was sneaky!” another person hollered from the crowd.

Among the crowd was Blaine DeRaad, who lives just blocks away from the county building.

“You cannot keep the children safe, and you know it! You have no right to bring something like this into our neighborhood without at least asking us first! We pay the taxes here!” DeRaad says.

The overall tone of the meeting was frustration, especially concerning schools in the area.

For more information about the shelter, click here.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.