The Nason’s Corner Neighborhood Association has come out against the proposed 200-bed homeless shelter at 1145 Brighton Ave. in Portland, citing concerns that the problems plaguing the Oxford Street area where the homeless now congregate will shift to their neighborhood.

The group sent a letter to city officials Saturday outlining its objections to the facility, which would replace the Oxford Street Shelter in the city’s Bayside neighborhood.

“We believe this plan is not well studied and must be rejected,” wrote Maya Lena, the association’s president.

Lena said the proposal does not encompass best practices for ending homelessness and is inappropriate for the site.

“Locating a homeless services center less than ¼ mile from the town line, among low-income housing projects and in a vulnerable area already known for illegal behavior is not a best practice,” she said.

She said the proposal does not address the opioid epidemic and synthetic cannabinoids that have caused problems near the Oxford Street Shelter area.


“Without clear plans from the city for how to address this crisis head-on, it is difficult to see how these behaviors will not follow the shelter to its new location,” Lena said.

She said the city’s proposal lacks plans for a long-term operating budget and fails to address overcrowding situations and what happens when those who are turned away from the shelter move into the wooded and secluded areas in the neighborhood.

The association also asked city officials to continue to consider other sites.

“We empathize with the plight of the homeless, but the proposed solution is the wrong one for the homeless and for our neighborhood,” the letter concluded.

The association, which was dormant for most of the past decade, reformed this past winter. It has about 215 people on its email list, Lena said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: bquimby

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