The city is moving forward with planning for shelters on the outskirts of the city

Chronicle: The True Story – by Dirk Knudsen; Editor

The Herald of Hillsboro has been a leader in covering the issues facing our communities with regards to homelessness. No one likes options or having to deal with this problem, but there is no escaping it. Our housing policies and city-wide gentrification are only part of the reason we are facing a rapid increase in the number of people living outdoors. In our two-part series on the shelter Hillsboro has planned on NE 17th Avenue and the Tualatin Valley Freeway, we’ve broken down the economics and laws involved. Read these stories here.

Last week, the city announced the shelter was moving forward and was seeking public comment. The shelter has the potential to help many people in need. It will also bring more problems; it is a given. The west end of our city is a place where these problems have been escalating for far too long. Dairy Creek Park, as beautiful as it is, is a dangerous place. Needle exchanges occur regularly in the parking lot, and litter and drug use appear to be rampant. So something has to change.

Location is kind of a handy fruit. No one else wanted it for restaurant or retail use, so the City’s purchase seemed predestined. With millions and millions of dollars pouring into cities and counties across the Tax on supportive housing services Metro we will see more and more shelters and services coming in. This will be the first full-time shelter in the city, if not the county. Getting it right is super important to all of us. No one wants this problem in their garden. A shelter could have been placed at the Washington County Fairgrounds, near Jackson School, Tanasbourne or South Hillsboro. These are “nice” areas, and this problem is destined to be relegated to less populated and popular places. But it will be at our west entrance right next to the “Welcome to Hillsboro” sign and our beloved pioneer cemetery. Kind of an immediate reminder to anyone coming to town that there are no guarantees in life – not a house or a home and not even to exist. Oh but for the grace of God, I’m going.
Do I like this place for that? No. Is it necessary and is it time? Yes, the time has passed and we all know it. Homeless humans are not in decline, but rather on a steep decline. We need options for them. Once we have options, the City can set expectations and pass laws to manage how we treat people fairly and comply with Martin vs. Boise Decision.

“Martin v. Boise (full case name Robert Martin, Lawrence Lee Smith, Robert Anderson, Janet F. Bell, Pamela S. Hawkes and Basil E. Humphrey c. City of Boise) was a 2018 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in response to a lawsuit filed in 2009 by six homeless plaintiffs against the city of Boise, Idaho regarding the city’s anti-camping ordinance.[1] The ruling ruled that cities cannot enforce anti-corruption measures.camping prescriptions if they don’t have enough homeless shelter beds available for their homeless population.[2][3] This did not necessarily mean that a city could not apply any restrictions on camping on public property.

The decision was based on the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitutionthe ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

In 2019, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the case, leaving precedent intact in the nine western states under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregonand Washington).[3][4]

The Herald has a call to City Hall to see where we stand with Martin VS Boise. This shelter and others can give Hillsboro enough shelter beds to prohibit camping and sleeping on public property. This shelter is certainly designed to be a step in that direction. We will return to this question in the coming days.

READ NOW BELOW – RISE AND BECOME – Make your voice heard

THE 411: From The City Press Release– Info to attend-

Do you use Dairy Creek Park? Are you a resident or business owner/employee near the future shelter site at the corner of SW 17th Ave and TV Hwy?

If so, we want to hear from you on the key elements of the future shelter project.

Please join us for upcoming focus groups/listening sessions for those who live, work or play near the future project site to learn more and provide feedback.

Both virtual and in-person options are available. The Spanish language will be available at both events.

Focus groups/listening sessions were created to learn more about this project and provide feedback on elements of the project, including:

  • Important visual elements of the shelter site
  • What is important in a refuge operator
  • Key Elements of a Good Neighbor Agreement

Here’s a 2019 video the Herald shot when Camp Hope was growing just west of this proposed site.

About Jefferey G. Cannon

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