In the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, there is an affordable housing complex run by Catholic Charities that provides housing for low-income American families, as well as refugees and immigrants from all over the world. In an effort to connect with the community there, the Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood Association (CKNA) held some meetings in their common space and provided interpretation for a handful of different languages.
In the fall of 2017, one week before a CKNA meeting at Kateri Park, an altercation between three people began down the street and ended in Kateri Park’s parking lot. Bullets were flying through apartment walls, and one even lodged into the mattress of one of the residents while she slept on it. One of the individuals in the altercation was shot and killed in the parking lot.
In response, the CKNA swept their entire agenda off the table and dedicated the entire next meeting to discuss safety issues. They arranged for a panel of officials to speak and answer questions from the community that was composed of the housing director of Catholic Charities, Crime Prevention Coordinators, the resident services coordinator for the apartment complex, and the neighborhood officer from the Portland Police Bureau. Interpretation was provided in four different languages.
The meeting was well attended and provided residents with an outlet for a wide variety of safety concerns, not all of which was related to the shooting. As a result, neighbors began self-organizing and have formed an apartment watch through the city’s Neighborhood Watch program, and began discussing solutions to some long-standing problems within the community.