Michael McNulty. Credit: WGME

PORTLAND – In a show of solidarity, members of Homeless Voices for Justice held their 12th annual “Longest Day of Homelessness Sit Out” Friday.

During the summer, homelessness increases. Lack of access to adequate shelters puts homeless people at risk of potentially deadly heat and exposure.

The Portland City Council recently approved a new homeless shelter off Riverside Street, a decision many are still opposed to.

[Related: Area residents, business owners have mixed feelings about new homeless shelter site]

“We have a campaign called ‘Don’t Hide Us, Include Us,’ and by putting us out at Riverside, you’re excluding us,” Jane Drew of Homeless Voices for Justice said.

Michael McNulty told WGME it’s important for people to remember that no one thinks that one day they will be without a home or shelter.

“People need to realize nobody plans. As I said, I’m 55, and if somebody told me five years ago you’re going to be homeless in Portland, the heck I’m not. Nobody plans to be homeless, nobody wants to be homeless, but you know, it happens,” McNulty said.

Homeless Voices for Justice is a grassroots organization founded in 1995. Its members have all experienced homelessness.