06/13/19

Foster-Powell Welcoming Families to Lilac Meadows

At our May meeting we were joined by representatives from the City of Portland and Multnomah County Joint Office of Homeless Services and shelter operator Human Solutions to discuss the new family shelter, Lilac Meadows, which is being opened at the Briarwood Suites on SE Powell Blvd and SE 79th Ave. The facility will house 40 families and up to 120 children. See our meeting minutes for a summary of the discussion.

In our recent June meeting, we discussed two topics related to welcoming the families of Lilac Meadows to their new neighborhood:

  • Crosswalk at Powell and 79th – the project is funded but seems to be delayed. This would be a critical facility to help the families navigate the neighborhood.
  • Welcoming Activities – when asked what the Foster-Powell neighborhood could do to welcome the families, Human Solutions suggested volunteers cooking meals. Their website lists other ways to offer help (see below).

Crosswalk

Portland Bureau of Transportation has plans to add crosswalks to Powell Blvd, including one at 79th Ave. However it seems the construction is delayed, possibly until 2020. Alida Cantor, a concerned Foster-Powell neighbor, is leading the effort to connect with PBOT and other responsible entities to advocate for expediting this project. The safety of the 40 families living at Lilac Meadows would be improved with the lighted crossing and pedestrian refuge island. If needed, we may be reaching out to our Foster-Powell community for help in advocating to PBOT to get this crossing built sooner.

Welcoming Activities

The following is from the Lilac Meadows information page:

How can you help?
Our emergency shelter programs are actively supported by community members – in fact, we couldn’t do what we do without you! If you’d like to be part of this exciting opening and ongoing family program, here are our top needs at the moment (stay tuned, needs change over time!):


Make a gift to our fundraising campaign! We are working hard to raise $50,000 for this new location to complement County funding. Human Solutions is responsible for on-site programming for kids, three meals/day for all residents, staff training, garden beds, and more. Click here to be part of getting this amazing new space off the ground!


Make & serve meals. Human Solutions prides itself on providing nutritious meals for shelter residents three times a day plus an after-school snack for kids. Our amazing Volunteer and Donations Coordinator Christina Newcomb is the right person to contact to learn more and sign up; reach her at 503.278.1637 or volunteer@nullhumansolutions.org.


Shop our Amazon Wish List. This has got to be the most effective way to donate exactly what we need! Shelter staff maintain this Wish List so you know you are donating exactly what is needed. Check it out and send what feels right to you. We’ll put it all to good use!

Lilac Meadows Family Shelter, Human Solutions


If you have an interest in organizing neighbors to make and serve meals, please contact us and we will support you in those efforts!

News Coverage

Here are articles that have been published about Lilac Meadows. If you are aware of any others, please let us know in the comments below and we’ll update this list, as appropriate:

03/29/19

Opposition to I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion Project

At out last meeting in March, the topic of the I-5 Rose Quarter Expansion Project was discussed and an unanimous vote was taken to oppose the project. See our prior post for more details, including information about the survey to confirm our opposition —

The results of the survey exceeded the threshold of more than 60% of the respondents opposing the I-5 Rose Quarter Freeway Expansion project and supporting No More Freeways PDX. If we had not exceeded the threshold, our vote to oppose the project would stand, but we would not publish a letter expressing our opposition. Exceeding that threshold was the agreed upon trigger for Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association to release an official letter of opposition, which you can see below. Thank you for engaging in this important policy discussion and allowing us to amplify your voices to the city and state!


File Your Own Comments


The public comment period is ending at 5 PM on Monday 1-April.

Support Freeway Expansion: If you support the project, you can file your comments directly at the I-5 Rose Quarter Project site.

Oppose Freeway Expansion: If you opposed the project, you can file your comments directly at the project’s site (link above), or you can use the system at No More Freeways PDX where you will find talking points to help you build your case.


History of Activism through Neighborhood Associations


The Neighborhood Association system was formed based on citizens stepping up to have their voices heard in city planning efforts.

The League of Women Voters of Portland studied Portland’s neighborhood system in the mid-2000s. As part of this effort, the League prepared a short history of Portland’s neighborhood system through 2005.

History and Related Documents, City of Portland Office of Community & Civic Life


Here is an excerpt from that study:

Neighborhood Voice in Portland
Neighborhoods of Portland emerged as participants in city planning between 1966 and 1980. Among the earliest was Lair Hill, where students, renters, and Jewish and Italian families displaced by the South Auditorium urban renewal project rose up against city plans for redevelopment. In 1966, Northeast Portland applied to participate in the Model Cities program; a citizens’ planning board was appointed to guide the project. In Northwest Portland, proposals to expand Good Samaritan Hospital and to build a freeway spurred neighborhoods to organize and become negotiators for plans that saved older neighborhoods. In 1971, Southeast neighborhoods successfully challenged the building of the Mount Hood Freeway. Forces behind the emergence of neighborhood voice were:

  • Residents who reacted against city plans to urbanize older, inner city neighborhoods through increased densities, commercial uses, and transportation projects.
  • New city leaders who were not tied to old planning practices.
  • Increased requirements for citizen participation in federal and state programs, including Model Cities, Office of Economic Opportunity, Urban Renewal, Housing and Community Development, and in Oregon, SB 100 initiating the state’s land use laws.
League of Women Voters of Portland, Portland’s Neighborhood Associations–Part I — History, October 2005
03/21/19

Crosswalk Enforcement at Powell & 54th on Wed 27-Mar

Received from the Portland Bureau of Transportation:

Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division will be conducting a crosswalk education and enforcement action on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, from noon to 1:30 PM, at the marked crossing on Southeast Powell Boulevard at Southeast 54 Avenue.

Portland is committed to ending traffic violence in our communities. Through the Vision Zero program, the City of Portland and our partners are working to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our streets.  Education and enforcement actions such as the March 27th event are a key part of the City of Portland’s citywide effort to reach its Vision Zero goal.

People walking who are struck by speeding drivers on roads like Southeast Powell Boulevard are unlikely to survive.  We need your help! As drivers, be cautious and on the lookout for people walking in marked and unmarked crosswalks, stop for people in the crosswalk when they are in your motor lane and the motor lane on either side of you (Oregon law), and slow down so you can stop safely.  As walkers, look before crossing and continue looking while you cross to make sure drivers see you and are stopping for you, make eye contact with drivers when possible, and make yourself visible to drivers.

To request a Vision Zero community briefing or enforcement action in your area, call the 823-SAFE Traffic Safety Hot Line at (503) 823-7233, or submit a Traffic Safety Hot Line request using the online form.

Learn more about rights and responsibilities for crossing streets in Oregon (in EnglishEspanol); and view the results of previous actions.

Still confused about the crosswalk laws in Oregon? Read this fantastic article from Bike Portland.