PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A deal was finally reached Wednesday to move the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp from Chinatown to Southeast Portland.
The Portland City Council voted 4-1, giving the green light to R2DToo’s future home at SE 3rd and Harrison.
Commissioner Nick Fish was the sole vote against it.
It was approved with an amendment by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, stating no one under the age of 18 will be allowed to stay at the camp overnight.
“It’s been a long road to get here,” Mayor Hales’ Chief of Staff John Alpert said.
The move relocates the camp from its current location in Chinatown to a city-owned parcel near OMSI, whose board opposed the proposal.
It’s supported by homeless advocates, but opposed by many eastside businesses, developers and residents.
Developer Brad Malsin, president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, previously testified the move would violate city zoning codes and conflict with future plans for the area, which is classified as an industrial sanctuary.
“We’ve got respect for what they’re doing to serve the homeless,” Gary Rehnberg, who believes R2DToo will affect his East Side Plating business, said. “I just don’t believe this to be an appropriate, compatible use under the zoning code.”
The new camp could house up to 100 people at a time for as long as 10 years.
“On any given night, there are about 70-75 people who are staying there,” Alpert said.
Mayor Charlie Hales argued the move is not a solution to homelessness, but a safer sleeping option for those currently without homes.
“You can’t just snap your fingers and make [permanent housing] come out of the ground,” Hales said. “We have to have places where they can sleep.”
The Portland Tribune, a KOIN 6 media partner, contributed to this report.