“Welcome to our community.” That’s how Earle Crowe began his talk to assorted politicians and community members at the opening of the Pennsylvania Hotel on Jan 7.
The newly renovated building, operated by the Portland Hotel Society, will provide 44 units of supportive housing at $375 a month rent.
Each unit has a bathroom and kitchenette. It took years of cobbling together funds from numerous sources for the historic building to finally be renovated.
Earle told the crowd that he had been sleeping in a tent in CRAB Park for 3 years. He said he didn’t like SRO because, “there’s no dignity in SRO’s. You don’t have your own washroom. [The one you do use] is plugged with shit.” Earle is now a Pennsylvania resident.” Now I can ask a friend to come over for a coffee or a beer. We need more of these so everyone can get off the street,” said Early.
After thanking everyone who worked on the project, Earle concluded, “Skid row is a place in you mind, not in your city.”