PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Commissioner Dan Ryan held a Q&A with businesses Thursday over issues affecting downtown, such as the historic rise in violence, trash and homeless camps.
City leaders have said these are complex issues that require multi-faceted solutions. Ryan said Thursday that he’s still working to find more locations for the Safe Rest Villages to address homelessness in Portland.
So far, three locations have been announced: one in SW Portland, one on East Burnside and one downtown. Officials said the city wants to build these as soon as possible, but the timeline for now is early 2022.
“If we don’t get to the bottom of this, if we don’t start to see the needle turn — you know, it’s tearing apart our economy, our livelihood, and it’s really the No. 1 issue facing our city,” Ryan said. “It’s so complex.”
CEO Jim Mark of the Melvin Mark Companies said the city needs to treat homelessness with more urgency.
“Their job is to address these issues as though it’s an urgent matter,” Mark said.
He called on city leaders to do more to address the increase in crime and violence across Portland.
“If you look at homicides, you look at carjackings, you look at every day crimes — I think there is an urgent issue out there that we need to address sooner than later,” Mark said.