Proposal to move houseless to large shelters in Portland is gaining attention

Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 10:45 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - A proposal that was written by Sam Adams, the former mayor of Portland and now current aide to Mayor Ted Wheeler has sparked attention in how the city will confront the houseless issue.

The proposed plan would move 3,000 houseless people from the streets into three large shelters run by unarmed national guard members and Portland State University social work graduate students.

Then, over time the city would outlaw unsanctioned camping. However, the dean of the school of social work at PSU, Jose Coll, said he’s not in favor of the plan and said in a statement, “This proposal contravenes social work values and is not being considered by the SSW. The school was not consulted about this plan, and we with PSU government relations are handling this matter.”

Other organizations like the Northwest Pilot Project, a homeless advocacy group told FOX 12 that they do not support this plan and called it inhumane.

Mayor Wheeler released a statement Monday saying, “Allowing for dangerous, squalid living conditions is not how we treat our houseless community with compassion and empathy. I directed my team to leave no stone unturned in finding a solution that will address this problem in an urgent and meaningful way and that is exactly what they have been doing. The current solutions do not match the scale of our problem.”

Randy Philbrick is a school bus driver and former business owner who said he thinks this is a good starting point for Portland.

“I get to see it all the time because there’s corners that I try to take with the school bus where it’s really tight because you got campers, you got tents that are actually in the street so we need something like this where we can get them off the street and into a safer place,” Philbrick said.