The Portland homeless services center has been beautifully designed, and is approved and is ready to roll, in a location with enough space to give staff room to work and enough services for vulnerable guests to rest, recover and swiftly resolve their homelessness. If construction starts soon, the new center would open in Riverton in a little over a year.

Yet resistance to this one simple piece of essential infrastructure continues, this time with a citizens referendum urging people to support the intangible, inefficient idea of many small shelters, rather than the approved, expert-endorsed Riverton homeless services center.

The opponents of the Riverton shelter cite community concerns about a larger shelter, and that’s understandable – the current city shelter is far too broken to illustrate the benefits of its replacement. But that’s exactly why the Riverton center needs to move forward.

Voting for Option C on Portland’s Nov. 2 referendum will help ensure that it does.

Sarah Michniewicz
candidate, District 1, Portland City Council

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