Many elected officials recoil at the thought of homeless shelters in their home neighborhoods.
But Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith wants to be certain that shelters are coming to her North and Northeast Portland district.
Smith is planning to vote today against a county proposal to spend $6 million toward homeless services and shelters.
She says she'll vote no because she hasn't been assured that any of the shelters will be in her district.
"None of these shelters are in my district. That's what I've been fighting for," she tells WW. "There are a lot of people who need affordable housing and are out on the streets."
The money is coming from the county's settlement in January of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System lawsuit.
Smith says she supports County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury's efforts to address the housing emergency. But Smith insists the vote should take place as part of the next year's budget process, so the county can more deliberately choose the locations.
The current budget-modification proposals includes $4.7 million "for leasing and purchasing properties for shelter and housing, due diligence, renovation, and capital improvements."
County commissioners are not yet voting on the location of shelters or their contractors, but those will be voted on later, county officials say.
UPDATE, 11:40 am: Smith voted yes after all.
"I support the request that's before us," she declared at the Multnomah County commission meeting this morning.
Smith tells WW she got "the clarity" she needed this morning when county lawyers assured her that commissioners would vote later on shelter locations.