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Commissioner Hardesty Offers Initial Response to Leaked Concept of Forced Entry into Mass Encampments for Portlanders Experiencing Extreme Poverty

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Last week I met with Mayor Wheeler. He told me he was interested in creating additional, temporary sanctioned camping areas. I was told they would include a cap of around 100 people each and be placed in various locations throughout Portland. When I asked some of the most basic questions: “Who? When? Where? How?” I was told they hadn’t figured that out yet. 

About an hour later I read in the news that the unseen mystery plan could include forcing people in extreme poverty to live in massive concentrated encampments or face jail, just as the upcoming winter brings renewed fears of COVID exposure and Flu outbreaks.  

So that’s what I know. We need an ambitious, urgent effort to shelter and house those suffering on the streets as soon as possible, but we haven’t seen a real plan yet. If one exists, I’m sure I’ll have more to say then.