Old Town Neighborhood Association releases plan to revitalize neighborhood

A new Old Town Neighborhood Associations plan calls for, among other things, that Portland police officers know the name of at least one person in every business or that residence/business owners and non-profit organizations know the name and number of at least one Old Town PPB Officer.

Kaylee Domzalski/OPB

On Tuesday, people who live and work in Old Town Portland released a plan to “fix and reopen” their neighborhood.

The Old Town Community Association says it would like to increase safety, cleanliness and accessibility in an area that has suffered the negative effects of increased gun violence, substance abuse and mental health crises . The neighborhood has also seen an increase in the number of people camping on the sidewalks.

Jessie Burke, owner of The Society hotel and president of the Old Town Community Association, says the area is currently not safe or humane for anyone.

“I don’t think people can quite understand, unless they come here, what we’re talking about,” Burke says, “There are times when it’s like a different world. A different country. You would never believe this is Portland in the United States of America.

The community association’s plan sets out a series of short and long-term goals involving additional lighting, policing and cleaning. The plan also calls for reducing sidewalk camping.

Burke lamented, in particular, the lack of resources for people in acute mental health crisis. “There are people — in Old Town especially — who aren’t here because they just lost their jobs,” Burke says. “Something else is happening. And we have to take care of them. »

To listen to Jessie Burke’s full interview on Think Out Loud, hit the play arrow above.

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