At that time, as part of the 2015 Task Force to Study the Feasibility of Consolidating Shelter Services, Preble Street and the City of Portland were talking about establishing a 300-bed shelter for men on a small, city-owned parcel in Bayside. That didn’t sound like a good idea to me.
My gut reaction was that there was no way a single facility could humanely serve 300 people experiencing homelessness and that thise individuals would be much better served in a different setting.
On the campaign trail, I advocated for the city to instead build five smaller shelters, scattered throughout the city, and I was pretty passionate about it. In fact, I may very well have been the person who locally popularized the phrase, “We can’t warehouse people.” I said it at nearly every forum I attended.
But that was then. And I can tell you now: I didn’t know what I was talking about.