Safety & Livability Minutes for 3-5-2019

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (SNA) Safety and Livability Committee Meeting Minutes 3/5/19

Sunnyside Community House (SCH) 6:30-7:30 pm

Minutes taken by D. Boush (SNA Secretary Lorraine Henriques was ill).

Matt Lembo presiding (Other SNA board members attending: David Boush, KC Hoffert, Pat Schweibert).

Approximately 8 others in attendance.

Matt called the meeting to order and asked if there was any business beside consideration of the Good Neighbor Agreement between SNA and the Community House.

A neighbor asked that the group consider 24-hour security for the community house. He read a statement from the online forum  Nextdoor posted by a woman who lived in the house adjacent to the SCH also owned by the Methodist Church from 1997-2016. There was discussion regarding whether the post was public and it was agreed that it could be summarized in the notes without attribution or included later with author permission. The gist was that the woman said she and her husband had performed monitoring outside the building, especially after Wednesday meals, until funding was ended in 2016. She “was saddened that conditions are so disgusting and unsafe” now and recommended 24-hour security be conducted by an outside party, especially because services by SCH have been expanded since 2016. Pat verified that the woman had lived in the house and noted that there also had been a security guard 20 years ago who was terminated for breaking into cars.

Neighbors and SNA Board members made the following points during the ensuing discussion:

Guests are camping outside the SCH, on the porch of the adjacent house, and in cars on the street next to SCH.

A parent of a Sunnyside Elementary School (SES) student reported hearing loud sex in a car camped by the SCH while walking children to school, observing people smoking something unrecognized, finding a needle, and having someone lying on the street try to strike her when she offered help. She asked whether people who do not want to come inside are asked to leave the premises. The answer from SCH volunteers was “no.”

A teacher offered support for the above statement adding that children have rights along with houseless people.

A neighbor disagreed completely with the perspective taken in the last several Safety and Livability meetings that SCH is enabling a bad situation. Houseless people have desperate needs. These meetings are not useful.

Other responses:

These meetings really are useful to resolve differences of opinion.. It can be tough to listen to different people’s opinions objectively.

We should consider how to make people feel safer. Houseless people (peacemakers) have left because of their security concerns.

This is not a suitable place to have a campground.

We should consider Community Patrols. (The April meeting of this Committee 4/2/19 is scheduled to be a Park Watch Training class).

What we are dealing with in the neighborhood is part of a much larger problem with homelessness.

Matt ended the meeting by expressing the hope that we can work on the little problems

Submitted by Dave Boush









Safety and Livability Minutes 3-5-19 (PDF)

Second Working Session on Sunnyside Community House Good Neighbor Agreement and Draft Outline

It was very encouraging to see some new faces at the second GNA-focused meeting of the Safety and Livability Committee last Tuesday, February 5th. We spent the hour reviewing a draft outline of the Goals and Principles section of the agreement and sharing perspectives on safety, empathy and inclusion. Some great suggestions were made regarding how to improve the draft language as well as additional educational and services-based resources we can reach out to as the process continues.

You can find a copy of the draft discussed at this meeting (without suggested edits) as well as meeting minutes below. Thanks to everyone for their participation in this process and please encourage anyone you may know who might be interested in joining us to do so at our next meeting on Tuesday, March 5th.

Working Draft

  1. Introduction and Background
    1. [TBD]
  2. Core Principles
    1. Our neighborhood hosts a wide and varied array of people and activities and this work is about making the community a better place for all of them, including but not limited to:
      1. Residents, housed and unhoused
      2. Southeast Portland Little League practicers and other park users
      3. SES students and parents
      4. Business owners and their patrons
      5. Churches and their congregations
      6. Arts and community organizations
    2. Human rights apply to all humans.
    3. Conditions in the neighborhood, especially on the street, sidewalks and public spaces, affect everyone in the neighborhood on a daily basis.
    4. Everyone has a right to personal safety.
    5. Everyone has a right to access services to meet their basic needs.
    6. Everyone has a right to peaceful enjoyment of their property and public spaces.
    7. Everyone has a right to their opinion and deserves a voice in these conversations.
  3. Goals
    1. Reduce crime, especially drug use in public / publicly visible places
    2. Prevent calls to city agencies and drains on city resources
    3. Promote personal responsibility
    4. Promote a sense of civic participation, especially when it comes to public spaces
    5. Encourage long term participation in this agreement
    6. Reduce litter and obstructions on streets and sidewalks
    7. Affirm the Parties’ commitment to civil conduct, communication, and accountability to each other.
    8. Create an open and productive dialogue between all parties.
  4. All Party Agreements
    1. [TBD]
  5. Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Agreements
    1. [TBD]
  6. Sunnyside Community House Agreements
    1. [TBD]

Learn More About Radon and Test Your Home

As a non-profit organization, The American Lung Association has as one of its missions to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

One in every fifteen homes are subjected to high levels of radon exposure. And due to its naturally occurring, odorless, tasteless composition, it can easily go unnoticed. We would love to encourage your community to learn more about radon and possibly test their homes.

Please see the radon_infographic_ for more information about radon and a link as to where to purchase low-cost test kits.