The Portland City Council is set to reconsider declaring a state of limited emergency to expand capacity at the city’s Homeless Services Center.
A motion to approve the expansion, which would have added 50 beds to the shelter, narrowly failed by a 4-5 vote at the Council’s Oct. 2 meeting.
The Council then voted 5-4 to indefinitely postpone the shelter expansion.
At the request of Councilor Regina Phillips, the order has been placed on the agenda for the Council’s Monday, Oct. 16 meeting.
For the declaration to be reconsidered, the Council must first vote to reconsider the indefinite postponement. Five affirmative votes are required to allow the reconsideration of the main motion.
“In response to the significant number of unsheltered individuals in the City of Portland, public health and safety hazards existing at encampments, and the imminent threat of further danger to those individuals healthsafety in the coming winter season, this
order would allow the City Manager to temporarily increase the number of beds available at the City of Portland Homeless Services Center (654 Riverside Street) by 50,” the Oct. 16 agenda states.
There are currently 292 tents in Portland citywide, and over 100 at the Marginal Way Park and Ride — the city’s largest homeless encampment.
The city’s Encampment Crisis Response Team (ECRT) has until Nov. 1 to try to connect homeless individuals at the Park and Ride encampment to services and housing options before the encampment is swept.
The ECRT’s previous efforts at the Fore River Parkway homeless encampment resulted in a total of 18 housing placements for homeless individuals out of the nearly 100 that were living in the encampment, and cost the city $65,000.