PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Pat Noychareon lives and works in the Southeast Portland’s Brooklyn neighborhood where it meets with Hosford Abernethy. She describes the area as “just very calm and chill.”
It’s also where Noychareon’s new restaurant opened. And it’s also where the city of Portland will open the first of the sanctioned campsites, what Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office calls “temporary alternative shelter sites.”
Noychareon has her concerns. In the 5 months since her restaurant opened there has been trash left around and she’s felt threatened by people.
“I can’t say no to shelter for the human being. I worry about them, too, when it’s cold or snow,” she said.
Another business owner in the area told KOIN 6 News they felt blindside the alternative shelter site was opening down the street.
This week, Wheeler will hold two community meetings — on Tuesday and Thursday — to hear from the people who live and work nearby.
One of the goals of the meetings is to creat a good neighbor agreement, similar to agreements in place for other shelters like Safe Rest Villages in the city.
The agreements typically set expectations between the neighborhood and the city, and ideally provide a point of contact when something goes wrong.
Wheeler and the Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood District have already met about what that good neighbor agreement will look like.
The mayor’s spokesperson told KOIN 6 News this agreement will go further. There will be more patrols by the shelter operator, Urban Alchemy, and there will be metrics set so any kind of success can be measured.
At the least, Pat Noychareon hopes for respect.
“If they’re nice to the community, even though they live in the shelter, but if they follow the rule of community, that’s going to be nice,” she said.