By Nancy Varekamp | CNews Editor
The Portland Public Schools (PPS) Facilities & Operations Committee Jan. 19 ended discussions – local and at city hall – about the city’s request to consider placing a Safe Rest Village (SRV) at PPS’ property adjacent to Fernhill Park. The committee decided to not recommend the proposal for board consideration.
Portland news media reported on the proposal in late October, prompting reactions from Concordia and neighboring Cully residents. In early January, the Concordia Neighborhood Association Board of Directors sent a letter to the PPS Board of Education to seek involvement before a decision might be made to accept the city’s proposal.
At the Jan. 19 meeting, committee chair Gary Hollands said, “I’m going to not recommend this go to the board at all.
“It’s not really in our mission, our PPS mission. We have other needs that might come up… and we need to keep our options open We need to be able to make sure that, first and foremost, we’re taking care of our kids.”
An unidentified committee member participating in the video conference reported, “It’s just the wrong location.”
She said the property is adjacent to a park and that PPS has a long history with the site.
“For me, it seems that how is it we’re going to maximize our students and our families with that property, and I know we have some proposals on the table and initiatives that could actually really turn what is that specific site [from an] underutilized community resource.”
That committee member did, however, commend the city’s efforts to provide Safe Rest Villages. “I appreciate the work that commissioner [Dan] Ryan is doing to really approach what is one of our most challenging issues as a city.”
To view the committee discussion re: the Whitaker/Adams site, fast forward to minutes 57.55 – 103.07 of the recorded video conference: at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6sVABYD9QY
For Jan. 19 local media coverage, visit: