Eater has published an in depth look at the Preble Street food program and the many challenges it’s navigated during the pandemic.
But on March 25 last year, for the first time in its history, Preble Street closed its dining room. Suddenly, the delicate web of social services that Portland’s unhoused community relied on to meet basic needs, a system largely concentrated in Preble’s Bayside neighborhood, began to unravel. This unravelling, which led to a forced dispersal of the city’s homeless population, brought into stark relief the conflicting imperatives of public health, public safety, and emergency services brought on by the pandemic. It became clear that if Preble Street was going to keep feeding people, the model — and maybe even the organization’s entire mission — would need to be rethought.
The article was written by Christian Letourneau with photography by Greta Rybus as part of a collaboration between Eater and the Food & Environment Reporting Network.
For more information on the Preble Street visit www.preblestreet.org.