SALEM, Ore. (KPTV) – The Salem City Council is moving forward with a plan to create dozens of micro shelters for the unhoused in West Salem.
People who live near the proposed site on Wallace Northwest Road have tried to pressure the city council for weeks to move the micro shelters out of their neighborhood.
But the council voted Monday night to continue to exploring the site. There is no set date when it will open.
Doug Petersen lives in an apartment complex yards from the proposed site, and he is already concerned about it opening.
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“They want them out of Salem so they’re dumping them off in the rural areas now,” Petersen said. ““We’re going to be bombarded by homeless people on the property for the kids to play for the dogs to get exercise.”
Once opened, there will be 30 micro shelters to house up to 60 people at a Park and Ride parking lot on 2700 Wallace Northwest Road. Petersen said the city hasn’t been transparent with those who live nearby.
“It’s just going to be a total disaster,” Petersen said. “It’s getting dumped on everybody without them really thinking it out.”
Lionel Rocha has sold oranges across from the Park and Ride for six years. He said he’s concerned about what the micro shelters will bring to the area. He understands it’s a complicated issue but he said creating permanent sites isn’t the solution.
“This is a never ending story,” Rocha said. “They can be in one camp here or one over there and more of them are going to come, why? Because we give them everything.”