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R2DToo: Not so fast on the move

The Old Town homeless camp known as Right to Dream Too has not yet embraced the new location proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Hales and Fritz have proposed having the city buy a parking lot and surrounding area owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation east of OMSI at Southeast Third and Harrison. The founder and attorney for R2DToo issued a statement Tuesday saying the camp welcomed the proposal, but that many details need to be negotiated before the relocation can occur.

Although Old Town area developers have pledged around $900,000 to help relocate the camp, founder Ibrahim Mubarak and attorney Mark Kramer say the following details are among those that need to be worked out:

• How much of the funds dedicated to R2DToo by City ordinance will be used for the acquisition of the site.

• How much of such funds will be dedicated to improving the site to make it suitable for relocation.

• What site improvements will be made.

• A use agreement defining R2DToo's occupancy of the site.

• A timeline for the relocation.

"R2DToo will work in good faith with the City and other stakeholders to make a successful transition a reality, understanding that much work needs to be done before success is assured. Such work needs to be done in a respectful, meaningful and transparent fashion," says the statement.

Several businesses, residents and organizations in Southeast Portland have already raised objections and questions about the relocation. They include members of the board of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, who do not support open campgrounds for the homeless anywhere in the city, according to its president, business owner Debbie Kitchin.

The executive board of the Southeast Uplift neighborhood coalition has also requested to meet with representatives of the city and R2DToo about the relocation. Chair Robert McCullough says board members have numerous concerns about the site, including the lack of public involvement in the decision so far and the lack of existing public services there.