In response to the City of Portland’s decision to trim shelter services for the homeless, the advocacy group, Homeless Voices for Justice (HVJ), is inviting members of the community to join them in protest on the steps of Portland City Hall.
The demonstration will begin at 4:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon, prior to the 5:30 City Council Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee meeting which will be held in the City Council Chambers.
“We the citizens of Portland believe in protecting our most vulnerable neighbors and call on the City Council to maintain the overflow shelter function. We:
- Believe human well being is a priority.
- Have a moral obligation to protect the lives of adults and children regardless of their circumstances.
- Must uphold Portland’s 30-year pledge to ensure no one who wants or asks for a place to stay must sleep on the streets.
- Can find a way to balance the city budget that doesn’t endanger people living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet.
- Recognize that leaving people on the streets costs communities three times more in city services than providing shelter.
- Need to avoid punishing the victims because the State is shredding the safety net.
On any given night there are 483 homeless women, men, and children asking for shelter, and there are only 376 shelter beds in the City of Portland.
To support the successful housing efforts of the City of Portland Oxford Shelter staff, a new unprecedented collaborative effort by frontline providers including Amistad, Milestone, Opportunity Alliance, Shalom House, and Preble Street is working to reduce the need for shelter beds by rapidly housing people as affordable housing is available.
But until there is enough housing, turning 107 children and adults into the streets belies our community slogan, “life is good here.”
Come to the City Council Public Safety, Health and Human Services Committee meeting to speak out against these inhumane cuts. Demand that the city find ways to save money without taking more away from people who already have so little.”