Re: Interview with Willamette Week on PDX homelessness battles

Peter Finley Fry

Thank you for providing this public forum as a means to share ideas and experiences.


I read with interest the interview and learned a great deal.


The issue of shelter and housing are not a dichotomy.


Permanent housing is a home not a place that you rent.  A home is where you root and grow.

A shelter is a safe place to pause, reassess, access resources, and move forward.


We are seeing many forms of housing (re) emerge.  The housing needs to be embedded in a community and not a sterile place to sleep.  Housing and neighborhoods do not have to be the subdivisions first aggressively built after World War Two.  Older neighborhoods and new villages can be blended.  These need to efficiently and effectively provide for the collection and disposal of waste, the provision of water and energy; and sustainable within the natural environment.


I supported Portland’s Planning Bureau in the creation of the Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) provision.  We filled the entire City Council chambers (and overflow) with opposition to ADUs.  Now everyone loves them.


People are community based and require a community to deal with the challenges we all face while collectively building wealth.  We are the government and we must take responsibility for what we consume and what we do.  Collectively, we must address the systemic racism and inequity.  As humans, we compete, bully, challenge.  The shy must be protected from the loud.


The shelter is not a home or a place to stay.  The shelter is a safe place to pause away from the demands of other  people, to find a calm place to move forward from.  The street is a community.  A comforting community without safety or security or privacy.   A shelter can provide these human needs without breaking the link to the comfort and acceptance of the street community.


A shelter is like an emergency room that is embedded in the community and not an institution. The concept and purpose of a shelter can not be lost in the politics of camping and villages.  The shelter is a particularly important thing and it is not a village or a campground or a camp site.


A Shelter is a critically important facility.


And then there is the fight over land and land use.




Peter Finley Fry   AICP PhD MUP

Land Use Planning

Cultural Anthropologist

303 NW Uptown Terrace; Unit 1B

Portland, Oregon 97210

503 703-8033


Sent from Mail for Windows 10


From: Tim McCormick via
Sent: Sunday, May 23, 2021 3:44 PM
Subject: [pdxshelterforum] Interview with Willamette Week on PDX homelessness battles


WW interviewed me, I wrote it up:


"The houseless vs the settlement: interview with Willamette Week".  


a field report from Portland's increasingly heated, fractious homelessness policy battles.


discussing, among others: 

County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, 

County Chair Deborah Kafoury 

PSU Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative director Dr. Marisa Zapata 

Homer Williams, founder of Oregon Harbor of Hope

Councilmember Dan Ryan.



Sophie Peel, Reporter, WW

Mark Zusman, Publisher WW

Aaron Mesh, Editor, WW 

Nigel Jaquiss, Reporter, WW

Rachel Monahan, Reporter, WW

Tess Riski, Reporter, WW

[note to WW staff or others receiving this email: you can reply to PDX Shelter Forum by using Reply to All or addressing to].



Tim McCormick

Moderator PDX Shelter Forum, Editor at HousingWiki,
Organizer at Village Collaborative

Portland, Oregon 


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