[Hpn] Fw: Dignity Village Homeless Encampment at Portland to Close July 1,
H. C. Covington
H. C. Covington" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri, 01 Jun 2001 03:39:07 -0400
-- Original Message --From: "Dee Southard" <SoutharD@cwu.EDU>
To: <email@example.com> Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2001 4:17 PM
Dignity Village faces July 1 closure date
City officials say the 80 residents of tent city can't make another move to
publicly owned property
Wednesday, May 30, 2001
By Scott Learn of The Oregonian staff
Residents of Dignity Village, Portland's 5-month-old tent city, must move from
their Northwest Portland site by July 1 and won't be allowed to resettle on
publicly owned land, city officials say.
The city's stance sets up a showdown between villagers and police unless the
city relents or unless the villagers somehow secure private property to camp on.
Village leaders are vowing to find another piece of land for the camp, which has
moved five times since it first was set up in December and now is home to
roughly 80 people. They say they will resist police attempts to keep them from
re-establishing a camp at a different publicly owned spot.
"This is the life; this is all we have," Ibrahim Mubarak, one of the village's
leaders, said Tuesday. "I'm prepared to go to jail if I have to for doing
something I believe is right."
The colorful village, including more than 50 tents, portable outhouses, a camp
kitchen and a sun shower, is set up on Oregon Department of Transportation land
under the Fremont Bridge ramps at Northwest 17th Avenue and Savier Street.
The Transportation Department wants the camp to move by July 1. A citizen
complaint prompted the city to cite the department in April for harboring the
camp, which violates the city's electrical, plumbing and sanitary codes. The
city had to investigate the property once a complaint was filed, city officials
Bob Durston, chief of staff for city Commissioner Erik Sten, said the city isn't
willing to let the camp move to another publicly owned spot. Sten has given camp
leaders five months to try to figure out an alternative, Durston said.
"It's not like we made a decision overnight," said Durston, a former director of
a downtown homeless shelter. "I don't think our community is ready to say a camp
is a legitimate response to homelessness. I may be wrong."
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