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Mayor Ted Wheeler to address educational forum on homelessness in Downtown Portland

Press release

Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association hosting multi-panel discussion on homelessness

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Tim Becker (503) 823-6784


Mayor Ted Wheeler will provide the opening address at a day-long educational forum to increase understanding of—and seeking solutions to—homelessness in Downtown Portland on Saturday, Nov. 23. Organized by the Portland Downtown Neighborhood Association (PDNA), the forum will offer five panel discussions focusing on issues including mental health, addiction and disability, public safety, camping and trash. There will also be testimonials and insight offered from currently and formerly homeless individuals.

“Local governments can’t solve the homelessness, addiction and mental health crises alone. That’s why I welcome community discussions like the forum hosted by the PDNA,” Mayor Wheeler said. “This event offers a chance to learn from those experiencing homelessness alongside those in our community about how we can better address the problem.”

“This forum is the beginning of a neighborhood association taking steps toward educating themselves and creating a plan of action to address the effects of homelessness,” said PDNA forum organizer Darlene Garrett. “We will be heavily focused on generating solutions that we can begin planning for and implementing as soon as possible.”

Panel discussions, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will cover the following topics:

  • Who are the persons experiencing homelessness in Downtown Portland?
  • What is the Scope of Health, Addiction, and Disability Issues among the Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Downtown Portland?
  • Is Housing the Heart of the Matter and What Are The Solutions?
  • The Homeless Speak Out
  • Hot Buttons: People in Crisis, Camping, and Trash. How Do We Quell the Flames?

This Educational Forum is for people who live, work, study or own a business in downtown Portland.

WHAT: PDNA Homelessness Forum

WHERE: First Unitarian Church on 1211 Southwest Main

WHEN: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.