On Friday, 12/8 the City and County Joint Office of Homeless Services announced a community meeting to discuss a proposed low-barrier shelter for Foster Road. The Foster Area Business Association (FABA) was just as surprised by this announcement as you were. Despite the last-minute nature of this meeting, we are on top of it!
Community Meeting on Monday 12/18
Monday, 12/18 at 7pm
SEIU Local 503 (6401 SE Foster Road)
Childcare and translation services available
Who Will Attend the Meeting
o County Chair Deborah Kafoury
o County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson
o Mayor Ted Wheeler
o Transition Projects Director George Devendorf
What We Know About the Shelter So Far:
• Proposed Location—6144 SE Foster in the building that once hosted Winly Cash & Carry
• Proposed Capacity—approximately 100 adults (prioritized populations include women, couples, individuals with disabilities, veterans)
• Proposed Operator—Transition Projects
• Proposed Structure—low-barrier, reservation-only shelter (no queuing outside) open 24/7; on-site showers, laundry, storage for belongings, support services/staff; pets allowed
• Proposed Timeline—opening late summer or early fall 2018
• Why Foster—2017 ‘Point in Time’ count of homeless neighbors found 22% were counted in SE Portland between the Willamette River and 82nd Avenue (a larger share overall than were counted in downtown/Old Town)
Your all-volunteer Foster Area Business Association (FABA) board discussed this unexpected proposal in depth at our meeting 12/12 and has taken the following action:
• Promoted Community Meeting to ensure the entire Foster Area community is aware and able to attend
• Confirmed President Matthew Micetic and District Organizer Dane Fredericks, along with other Board members, will attend the Community Meeting 12/18
• Identified critical community questions about the proposed shelter including:
o What steps will be taken to protect community resources like the nearby Laurelwood Park, YMCA, and Mt. Scott Learning Center?
o Will this shelter serve preexisting vulnerable populations in East Portland or be open to treat the rest of the city?
o Foster Road businesses are facing lost revenue from extensive planned street construction in the coming year—what will be done to protect small businesses under threat from the prospect of even more disruption of their storefronts and walking traffic?
o Who will ensure the safety of employees and customers of nearby businesses and what level of responsiveness can businesses expect if individuals associated with the shelter are engaged in threatening or disruptive behavior?
• Created tips for Being an Effective Advocate, Testifying effectively, Contacting Elected Officials, and a handy sheet of City and County Contact Information.
What You Can Do
Whether you like it, hate it, or have suggestions to improve it—we want to hear from you!
• Email Fosterarea@gmail.com to tell us how you feel about the current proposal and how it may impact your business (we will aggregate responses and share them at the meeting 12/18)
• Attend the Community Meeting on 12/18 and ask questions—let us know if you will attend
• Call or write the Multnomah County Commission and Portland City Council and tell them how you feel about the proposed shelter following the hearing
• Attend the FABA Meeting on 1/10/18 at 6pm at Carts on Foster to discuss our community response to the proposal