Portland, OR

Tuesday in Portland: New tiny-home village aims to provide low-barrier housing for the homeless

Emily Scarvie

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Tuesday, Sept. 13 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. WeShine opens new tiny-home village to provide low-barrier housing for homeless people

Construction crews just completed a new tiny-home village for those experiencing homelessness in northeast Portland. Nonprofit WeShine runs the Parkrose Community Village, and while the housing structures are similar to the city’s Safe Rest Villages, they’re taking a different approach to housing the homeless.

So far, four people have moved into the village and it’s expected to be filled within three weeks. The village is on private church property that WeShine leases for $1,200 a month. Their funding comes from fundraising and the Joint Office of Homeless Services.

The Parkrose Community Village aims to provide a low barrier to entry. Drug and alcohol use is not prohibited on the premises. The city’s Safe Rest Villages do not allow drug or alcohol use on their sites, and some other shelters require sobriety from their residents.

2. City to pay $85K to settle retaliation, discrimination lawsuit by police captain

The Portland City Council will vote on Wednesday to pay $85,000 to a police captain to a settle a 2020 lawsuit that alleges he faced retaliation for not recommending Assistant Chief Jamie Resch’s domestic partner for promotion. James W. Crooker alleged in the federal lawsuit that he was passed over for promotion to captain and later to commander of Central Precinct downtown while he was an acting captain, despite being recommended by the previous commander.

Crooker alleges that his own career was sidelined after he recommended against a promotion for Sgt. David Michaelson to lieutenant in 2019. Crooker’s attorney Randy J. Harvey wrote in the suit that Ryan Lee, who was assistant chief of operations at the time, told Crooker that they’d “make him pay” for his decision.

Resch has denied allegations that she retaliated and discriminated against Crooker. Crooker now serves as captain of the Central Precinct.

3. Teens arrested, charged for allegedly setting fires in Portland during Red Flag Warning

On Sunday morning, three 18-year-old men were arrested for arson and now two of them face charges for allegedly starting dozens of fires around Mt. Tabor Park. Samuel Perkins and Malik Hares both pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Monday. According to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office, there isn’t enough evidence to charge the third suspect, Wayne Chen.

The men are accused of starting multiple fires in the area between July 15 and Sept. 9. One of the fires was allegedly started on Friday or Saturday, when Portland was under a Red Flag Warning for extreme fire danger. The MCSO said video footage shows Hares and Perkins at Mt. Tabor around the time of the fire. Both men reportedly admitted to having some involvement.

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