***city press release***
DIGNITY VILLAGE DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE
Pending the outcome of further discussions, the City of Portland suspends plans to move Camp Dignity residents on July 1. The camp of homeless persons is currently located at N.W. 17th and Savier.
Negotiations are underway to determine the feasibility of a one-year pilot project. "The residents of the camp and their supporters have presented a very compelling, albeit ambitious, plan to add a new option for homeless people in our community", said Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten.
According to Sten, who is in charge of the city ís housing and homeless programs, "The City will continue to work with the campers to determine what, if any, elements of the campers' vision for a Dignity Village can be incorporated into the City's continuum of care for the homeless." Many details remain to be resolved and the site for the demonstration project has not been found.
Negotiations have begun with the campers to limit the size of the camp which currently has approximately 80 residents. The issues to be discussed include various conditions of operations designed to maintain health and safety standards.
In a letter received late last week, camp residents acknowledged that they have not found a private property site for the camp. The letter includes a request that the city suspend the July 1st deadline for moving from the current site. While negotiations continue, the City has agreed to suspend its July 1st deadline.
"We are willing to use the sound principles of community policing to work through this situation", said Mayor Vera Katz. "We must maintain our community public safety standards but we can accomplish more community good by working with the campers and their supporters than we can from forcing them to move from place to place throughout our community."
Efforts will continue to define the terms of the pilot project and possible sites for the camp.