- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Portland officials have approved a controversial plan to open a 400-bed temporary homeless shelter as soon as March.

The Oregonian/Oregon Live reports (https://bit.ly/2bjqPxq ) that the Portland City Council voted 3-2 on the contentious issue Wednesday. The move follows the council’s declaration of a housing emergency last fall.

The plan would increase shelter capacity across Multnomah County by nearly 40 percent by expanding the Northwest Portland riverfront shelter.

Dozens of neighbors, business leaders and environmentalists criticized the plan. They spoke for nearly three hours Wednesday, calling the expansion irresponsible, misguided, inhumane to the homeless and unfair to nearby residents.

Mayor Charlie Hales and two commissioners voted in favor of the project. He describes it as an experiment and says the city will stop the project if it doesn’t work.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, https://www.oregonlive.com

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