Re: our Oregonian op-ed supporting *permenent* options in Shelter to Housing Continuum,

Tim McCormick

I'm not seeing the op ed piece you refer to here - could you please forward it to me.

print version: 
"Open new paths from the streets to permanent housing." 
Laquida Landford, Tim McCormick, and Les Wardenaar. The Oregonian, March 24, 2021.
Landford is the leader of the AfroVillage PDX Project. McCormick is co-founder of PDX Shelter Forum and lead organizer of Village Collaborative. Wardenaar is chair of the Interfaith Alliance on Poverty and co-founder of Shelter Now.

I prefer the way it was presented in print (see image below), compared to the online version (further below), because the print headline has "permanent housing" vs online just "housing", which emphasizes the key points I wanted to make, highlighted in the image. Those mention two amendment points which we advocated over the entire last year, about which I'd say City staff & officials at no point ever considered, responded to, appeared to comprehend the motivation for, or gave any rationale for their opposing position.  

As I long attempted to argue, the (to me) puzzling and unusual provision to prohibit actual housing structures in "Outdoor Shelters", and the very conception of this shelter type, for which they originally use term 'villages', very much cut off possibilities for a continuum or or transition from shelter to permanent housing. I have found, over nearly many years of related advocacy work, that in Portland (and many cities), most officials & professionals in the US can rarely conceive or accept an idea of a site or structure evolving from a 'temporary' or 'shelter' classification to a 'housing' or 'permanent' classification. Even though, this is a quite normal process historically and globally, an obvious and self-determining way to accomplish a continuum or transition between the two, and is even implicit in provisions allowing a Tiny House on Wheels to be in an Outdoor Shelter or also sited on a private residential property. 

I find that, very ironically, the housing/homelessness field and the Shelter to Housing Continuum process leaders talk continually about how "housing is the answer", housing is what solves homelessness, etc., yet in practice often work relentlessly against some of the easiest, most low-cost and scaleable ways to achieve it. It's, housing.. but not like that! 


The online version dropped 'permanent' from headline, and added an "Editor's note" which I think misrepresents both Shelter to Housing Continuum and what we were trying to say. 

Online version: 
"Opinion: Open new paths from streets to housing". Mar 24, 2021

By Guest Columnist
Editor’s note: This op-ed is one of two commentary pieces today addressing a proposal to allow temporary homeless shelters in land zoned as open space, including parks and natural areas. You can find the other op-ed arguing the opposing position at

Tim McCormick
Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative
Portland, Oregon 

On Sat, Apr 3, 2021 at 10:43 PM Jeff Liddicoat <outsideartsale@...> wrote:
I'm not seeing the op ed piece you refer to here - could you please forward it to me.

On Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 9:33 PM Elise Aymer <elise@...> wrote:
Yes, good to see this Op-Ed!


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