“Open up city hall and let us stay there tonight,” said Byron Saavedra, late this afternoon at city hall plaza where many of the homeless have been camped out since last month. “This would be a good chance to show us your hospitality,” he said. There was an outbreak of laughter from others who over heard his comment.
Homeless campers spent most of the day making preparations for the upcoming storm that is expected to hit tonight and last during the night. Safety Team Volunteer Tyler Linscott said campers were being encouraged to stay in motels and out of the expected strong winds that could cause power outages. In the interim. Tyler was using donated rope to secure tents for the night.
Temper, 18, has been homeless since he was 12 years old. But he has now secured a one bedroom apartment and a job working at a Portland shelter. “But I’m staying here tonight with them. This is my family,” he said. “I will ride out the storm here tonight.”
Efforts to consolidate some of the larger homeless services have been part of preparing for the storm. “People are concerned how they will get through the storm. We’ve been weighing down tents with donated sand bags and tarps. Hopefully, as the winds start to pick up, folks will taker cover,” said one volunteer who did not want to be identified.
“Why doesn’t the city council come talk to us?” asked Saavedra ‘If I have to tell the Mayor what to do, we need a new mayor,” he said. Mayor Kate Snyder acknowledged in a recent interview with the editorial page editor for the “Republican Press Herald” that she is unprepared for the situations she has had to face during her tenure as Mayor. She had a different agenda in mind.
Some had a different Mayor in mind.