Photograph by Ruth Ann Barrett
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
Despite its name, it lacks a resident and commercial Asian community
It is a multi-faceted healthcare sector serving the homeless in a single neighborhood
Old Town Chinatown is all of the above, but it's not obvious that the neighborhood has a major healthcare sector supporting care service 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.
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.