Right 2 Dream Camp move on hold after Fritz delays council vote

Right 2 Dream Camp move on hold after Fritz delays council vote

PORTLAND, Ore. – City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who planned the deal to move the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp to the Pearl District, has called off the vote that was supposed to come at Wednesday's council meeting.

Fritz wanted to move the camp to under the Broadway Bridge but the people nearby who own condos, businesses and hotels balked at the idea and wanted to be involved in the process.

They got their way, and the Right 2 Dream Too camp will stay on West Burnside for the time being.

Fritz wanted city commissioners to vote in favor of the move two weeks ago, but Mayor Charlie Hales wanted to give nearby businesses and condos more time to look for other options.

Fritz is waiting for the people who opposed the plan to give their suggestions for a new location for the homeless camp.

"Everyone wants to find the best solution," Adele Nofield, who owns a restaurant near the Pearl District. "Moving them to the Lovejoy ramp wasn't even a band-aid fix. I think they're really serious now about finding a solution."

Many of the people who live and work around the Broadway Bridge say they are helping to find a new spot. Among them are some of the most successful real estate developers in Portland. Those businesses and developers are scouting for a new location for the camp, but they declined to tell KATU where they're looking. But they promise there are viable options.

In addition to Tuesday's development, KATU received hundreds emails as part of its public records request from the city on Right 2 Dream Too.

Many of the messages to and from Fritz were from concerned business owners and people who live in the Pearl. They had been emailing her their concerns since the summer. They pointed to the mayor as the person who was willing to listen to their concerns.
One of those business owners was Nofield, who owns Wilf's in Union Station. She’s also president of the Pearl District Business Association.

She emailed Fritz Sept. 9. Fritz replied Sept. 22: "I delayed responding," the commissioner wrote, "until answers to your questions were settled."

"I thought they should have really talked to landowners, residents and businesses, asking for more time," Nofield told KATU News Tuesday. "Whether that's finding an empty building and rehabbing it so it can house people or building something."

The emails also show that nearby condo owners asked for a "public discussion." They asked a dozen questions about safety and cleanliness.

Fritz responded: "I can't answer most of your question" but "I would be glad to visit" if she reached her agreement to move the homeless camp.