Moreland Presbyterian cancels homeless plan for now
Moreland Presbyterian Church reported on July 30, after the August BEE had gone to press, that its "Session", its governing body, met July 25th to review the status of its announced plan to participate in the Overnight Parking Pilot project which was proposed by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and supported by the Portland City Council. The church reported that it had received "intense opposition from some neighbors" to the plan to host a homeless woman and children in their car overnight in our parking lot.
It added that it was gratified by the support of other neighbors and Portlanders generally, but the "Session" decided, "with real disappointment, not to go forward at this time. The amount of publicity generated by the situation created a hostile environment where the church could not be confident about the safety of the people in the car."
Moreland Presbyterian Church added that "it is, however, committed to providing shelter to our homeless neighbors, and is investigating at least two other programs through which it can continue its longstanding efforts to assist the growing homeless population in southeast Portland."
In the public discussions over the matter in May and June, even neighbors concerned about the parking lot plan indicated that they would likely support a similar plan in which the qualified homeless person, waiting for low income housing, would be sheltered in the church and supervised and protected there by volunteers. The church did not indicate if this was one of the "other programs" being contemplated.