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Photograph by Ruth Ann Barrett

 

 

 

 

Old Town as Portland’s Caring Community is the identity for resident-led proposals, recommendations, and positions on neighborhood issues.  For a more detailed "About Us" download here

We have been running in parallel since 2017 with Old Town, Portland’s Entertainment District, represented by the Old Town Community Association with its focus on generating retail foot traffic - boosterism in short - a decidedly business focus that is also reflected in the Board of Director’s membership ...more.

We would like to move towards events in our neighborhood that invite our neighbors, residents, students, employees - to share their experience of Old Town and in the process contribute to making our neighborhood safer, more welcoming to newcomers, and very livable.

 

Adopting what we have learned from Native American and Canadian First Nations Peoples, neighborhood gatherings will use the process of talking circles, rather than the business and professional meetings model.  This is how we will conduct community meetings.  We are neighbors, not business and professional associates.  Download A Brief History of Four World's Talking Circles.

 

About Old Town (pre-COVID-19)

  • It is a vibrant area, filled with attractions, nightlife and art galleries 

  • It is an inner-city food desert and heat island with low air quality

  • It lacks a resident and commercial Asian community, so its name was changed from Old Town Chinatown to Old Town.  There is a historic district, the New Chinatown Japantown Historic District which features a renowned Chinese Garden and a Japanese Museum and other cultural and historical sites. 

  • It is a multi-faceted healthcare sector serving the homeless in a single neighborhood as well as drug recovery programs. 

 

Old Town is all of the above, but it's not obvious that the neighborhood has a major healthcare sector supporting care programs and housing for the homeless and those in recovery.

In our Guide to the Housing Landscape we detail how 57% of the neighborhood’s housing units provide supportive care and shelter for the homeless. It defines the neighborhood as Portland's Caring Community.

 

 

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Healthcare is important economically to our neighborhood and City. It's one of five economic clusters prioritized by Prosper Portland based on middle-wage job accessibility, local employment concentration, historic and future growth and global reputation/brand.  

 

The challenge is to be better organized and more collaborative in the effort to meet the needs of a diverse group of community members, including those who are homeless and in need of supportive services and to do so with justice, equality and compassion for all including those of us who live here.