Oregon church seeks to open parking lot as haven for homeless

A church in Oregon wants to open its parking lot to homeless people who are living in their cars, despite concerns from critics that the proposal may lead to increased crime and noise.

Under the proposed Portland/Multnomah County Overnight Sleeping Pilot, up to four cars would be allowed at each parking lot and the host organization must provide access to water, sanitary facilities and trash disposal, KPTV reports.

The Portland City Commissioners passed a proposal in December that will let homeless people sleep in their cars overnight in parking lots of certain churches and nonprofits. Moreland Presbyterian Church is now the first organization that wants to open a parking space for women who need a safe place to park and sleep at night.

Residents of the city’s Sellwood section, however, have criticized the proposal, saying they worry about increased noise, crime and other potential headaches. Similar programs have been employed elsewhere without major problems, including in Eugene, which has about two dozen parking sites, KPTV reports.

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