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Church facing heat over car camping

May 24, 2012

By Oregon Faith News Note:

The City of Portland spent a lot of time and public discussion over creating rules to allow churches to house homeless campers in their vehicle in the church parking lot. The rules were fine tuned to allow four cars per parking lot. The first church to act on the new rules is Moreland Presbyterian. It has already created some frustration among neighbors. The Portland Mercury reports,

But while city officials, church leaders, and housing advocates had planned on a quiet launch over the next few weeks—maybe hoping any skeptical neighbors wouldn’t even notice the low-impact program until it was well under way, if at all—that’s not what’s happened.

According to emails and other documents obtained through a public records request, a handful of neighbors who feel blind-sided by news of the project are actively trying to pressure the church into rethinking the project, if not abandon it outright. And some of that opposition, issued in emails to the church, City Commissioner Nick Fish, and the Portland Housing Bureau, has come off uncomfortably ugly.

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