Mandatory Rest Spaces For Tents Considered On The Streets Of Portland

Mandatory Rest Spaces For Tents Considered On The Streets Of Portland

Mandatory Rest Spaces For Tents Considered On The Streets Of Portland

From the Liberal La-La Land of Portland, comes the latest. The Planning and Sustainability Commission in Portland is working on so that all new structures (including private property, not just government buildings) to include mandatory spaces for homeless people to “rest” and “feel welcome and safe.” Because all people should feel “welcome and safe in Portland, proper, right?

Unless, you’re a Trump supporter or a Conservative (or a combination of the two). Or a Christian. Then, all bets are off. But, I digress. The Planning and Sustainability Commission in Portland wants to create mandatory “safe spaces” for the “home free” to pitch their tents. This includes rest spaces for tents on private property. This was the brainchild of Oriana Magnera:

Just one of the realities of Portland right now is that we have a lot of folks who are unhoused who benefit from some of these spaces that provide weather protection.”-Oriana Magnera

Yes, Oriana. We drove through PDX just a few weeks ago to take our son and one of his friends to experience Voodoo Doughnut. Portland is a craphole as of late. Tents are everywhere. In the middle of a sidewalk. Off the freeways. In common areas of intersection islands.

The city of Portland declined to comment to local news outlets but provided a letter from the commission:

Specific to the phrasing of the guideline itself, we suggest making it even more clear that development should provide supportive space for people to feel welcome and safe and should allow space for people to rest, especially under our current housing shortage.”-Planning and Sustainability Commission

To some concerned citizens, they are wondering what “rest” actually means. It is not specifically defined. Does “rest” mean a day or two? Or perhaps “rest” is defined as months at a time? No one can answer this question, interestingly enough. And we all know the supposed “housing shortage” is only part of the problem. Remember, some of these folks pitching tents in random areas of the city are unwilling to accept terms of rescue missions and homeless shelters to get clean and cease from using drugs because of sheer unwillingness or because of a mental disorder that has not been treated. The liberal policies of the city of Portland and Kate Brown and the state of Oregon have failed these individuals on an epic level. We see the same issues in Seattle and San Francisco. Raw sewage dumped from illegal RVs parked on the side of the road in neighborhoods in Seattle polluting waterways. Excrement and dirty needles on the streets of San Francisco. But those pitching tents, smoking weed and shooting up deserve mandatory safe spaces. Who’s going to clean up after the “home free” person pitching their tent? The owner of that private property? What could possibly go wrong here?

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy being able to wear a sweatshirt in the summertime and I love waking up to “The Mountain being out” (it’s what us locals say on a sunny day when we can see Mount Rainier). But, as a native east-coast girl, I am perplexed by some of the attitudes I come across here in the Greater Puget Sound area and in the PNW in general. Ideas like, “we possess progressive ideals because we embrace diversity and believe all humans deserve a chance”. People will bring this up in casual conversation-this whole diversity bit. They’re all white, (and mostly kid-free) by the way, but they love to talk about social justice. When they’ve had enough, they hop in the Subaru sporting the “Dump Trump” and other virtue-signaling stickers with their dog and go climb some mountains or drink some IPA to cure their ailing souls. These love-is-a-Subie-and-a-dog types will stare at you cross-eyed if you block the city crosswalks in your car or if you do not sort your recyclables correctly. (They also happen to be the first ones to cut you off on the freeway…but again, I digress). The city dwellers will shout “love is love” from the rafters and boast how their spaces welcome all. Everybody is sooooo inclusive. Some Pacific Northwesterners remain in their idyllic German mountain villages and remain liberal AF and others escape on a ferry to a quaint little island off the Rosario Strait (no filthy, toxin-spewing RVs or unsightly tents where Oprah summers on Orcas). Yep, there is a rainbow flag and a “we believe” sign on the outside of just about every shop on that island. No mandatory safe spaces on the large, lush lots of waterfront homes. No mandatory safe spaces alongside Bavarian mountain cottages.

These are the first people who will whine on a community page when parents like me get angry about drug addicts taking pictures of young girls walking home from school with stolen Polaroids. “This is a person. We need to feel sorry for him” they say. They will start anti-bullying initiatives at the community schools and their child is the biggest bully of them all! They say they believe in equality and justice for all. So, let me pose these questions. Is it just for these people to be living in these tents and in squalor? Are they being kind to them by enabling and allowing them to live this way-strangled by the grips of addiction and mental illness? And, what about the families that have to deal with the unsightly eyesores on a daily basis? You know the ones who have to walk past the stench of skunk weed, trash, filthy needles to take their kids to school? Come again, PNW liberals? You want dignity and mandatory “safe spaces”for all, right? Let’s start in your own back yard. Oh, that’s right. The tents are NOT going in YOUR back yard.

Photo Credit: FlickR/Creative Commons/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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  • Juan says:

    While I can agree that the NIMBY-liberalism in the PNW is the height of hypocrisy, I think it’s intellectually dishonest to paint all people who want homeless people to have a “safe space,” as you call it, as privileged, property-owning DINK’s (dual income, no kids).

    I will cop to my own bias as a member of a dual income and childless household, but I’m far from the type of person lambasted in this blog post. My partner and I make the “fair wage” of $15/hour in Portland, where the average apartment is priced for two rather than one. Which translates to needing a partner to split rent, having roommates, or living with an hour+ commute to “life within my means” as a single person. (We won’t talk about people’s one friend who got a great deal on an apartment in a great part of town 5 years ago and who have been holding onto it since.) But I digress. My partner and I happen to be lucky enough to have a home with a roommate, which makes our place on the higher end of affordable.

    However, we have a place. Which means we have basic amenities in our lives that people like yourself take for granted. Like being able to have a beer in my domicile, without being a “public nuisance.” Or being able to smoke cannabis, which is legal in Portland, without being harassed by police. By the way, did you know you can only legally smoke in your residence in Portland? Sorry homeless folks, should’ve thought of that before choosing to be homeless. Or maybe you shouldn’t have gotten hooked on legal opiates when you had surgery years ago or got into a car accident a while back. Or maybe you should’ve gotten a better job at the job store so you could have reliable and consistent access to addictions or mental health counseling (or both) AND have the time off to attend them.,what ever happened to the conservative value of minimal government? Don’t you need more government to enforce the way on drugs, or immigrants, or abortion? But, again, I digress.

    What’s funny is that I don’t usually comment on articles or blogs, but the sheer smug antagonism in this post really annoyed me. There’s so much talk about liberal snowflakes and political correctness and safe spaces in conservative circles and yet no conservative calls another conservative out on their own pearl clutching. Can’t criticize Israel (or you’re anti-Semitic), can’t criticize boomers (or you’re ageist), can’t criticize Trump EVER (or… Witch hunt); can people not see the writing on the wall? We’re all a bunch of babies that can’t get anything done because we’re so up in arms about who is winning this fictional game of red vs. blue that we don’t realize the things we’re so offended about have a miniscule presence or effect in our own lives.

    Which brings me back to my point. Portland has twice tried to make spaces where homeless folks could live their lives on their terms (a little self-determinism) in locations with access to the services they use most frequently. We put it up to a vote via ballot measure, and it was struck down twice because of that NIMBY attitude that affluent downtowners and business associations flexed. So where do they go? They’re not just gone because you voted that pesky ballot measure away.

    Finally, the idea that Seattlites and San Franciscans are “importing” liberal ideas from Portland is as myopic as it is laughable. And perhaps instead of complaining about liberals, the solution is to propose a better solution to address the issue of homelessness which, as you allude, is not just a “housing crisis,” but rather a lack of housing prices in proportion to the income distribution of the city in question. (That’s what you were getting at, right?)

    • Lisa Carr says:

      For one, you don’t know me. I do not take my safe haven of a home for granted. I have worked 2-3 jobs at a time a fair share of my life to get where I am at now. I agree that affordable housing in cities is lacking. But with that being said, we DO need to look to our local municipalities and figure out why that is. You also don’t know me enough to say that I am sitting on my keyboard judging people. While I pointed out a smug stereotype, I will say that my family has a heart for our homeless and helping where ($$$) and when we can.

      My point was totally lost here, apparently. If a homeless person can afford cannabis and other drugs, then perhaps the problem isn’t just housing but a poor use of their money and a substance abuse problem. There are spaces at rescue missions and homeless shelters. Some of the individuals on the street CHOOSE not to go to the shelter because they will have to not use and get clean. I’ve had a homeless drug addict yell at me for offering to buy him some food instead of giving him money. My son’s school has experienced several lockdowns because of drug-addled homeless meth-heads attempting to rob neighboring stores. And, actually, Seattle and Portland are taking cues from San Francisco. There is an addiction problem amongst the “home free” population. This is what they call themselves. This is not their fault and I am not trying to persecute them. I had an uncle who was a heroin addict. He had a home and a loving family and CHOSE to live on the street. Died on the rooftop of a building. He needed mental help. The system FAILED him. The system that many individuals put their faith in has failed them. I don’t know about Portland but I know about Seattle and the tiny home villages. “Safe havens” the city council has put in place allowing individuals to shoot up heroin. Heroin is NOT safe. Nothing about the drug is SAFE. If these local municipalities truly cared about these individuals, they would (instead of spending money on initiatives for safe injection vans and enabling the epidemic), encourage and use funding to get these individuals clean. And, by the way, if a drug addict needs a fix, he/she are not going to go around looking for a safe injection site. They will take it where they can. This leaves them dying a slow and painful death. The local municipalities attack corporations and not mental health policies at the local and state level. That, respectfully, was what I was getting at.

      • GWB says:

        actually, Seattle and Portland are taking cues from San Francisco.
        Yes. And no. You have to admit, Lisa, that Seattle has led the way in granola-crunching for decades now. Even in the 70s, it competed with San Fran and other hippie locales.

      • Juan says:

        Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. I appreciate your thoughtful response and I feel that I understand your position on this issue better as a result. I will only respond to your comment because I believe you’ve made a good-faith effort to understand my position and to convey your message as well. I don’t plan on commenting again, but I will read your response. Sorry for the wall of text.

        I’d like to begin by stating that I work in indigent defense, and am pretty familiar with what my county and the county I work in offer for social services. I’m not just blowing smoke. Any indigent “suspect” who is in the criminal justice system is not treated as innocent until proven guilty. It’s quite the opposite. Many are treated as criminals merely for being accused of a crime, and yet we are supposed to be Constitutionally protected from this kind of treatment. The vast majority of my clients (~70%) are homeless or on the verge of homelessness. Many become homeless as a result of even temporary incarceration because of the burden put on them by merely being accused of a crime. Many lose their jobs. Many pay thousands of dollars they don’t have to the system regardless of innocence or guilt through fines, fees, court-ordered classes, bail, etc. It’s pretty sad to see. And I wont act as if some of these clients are angels, but the majority of them are just regular folks who are just trying to work and live their lives like any one of us.

        I mention all of this because most people just don’t know what I’ve seen on the job and have no way of knowing without wading into those waters and trying to understand people without judgment. And I’m not innocent either. I make snap judgments too, but I try to keep them in check before turning my judgments into action. I don’t think you were wrong to assume that I was insinuating that you were judging people from your keyboard because I question how much experience you’ve had with the homeless or addicted or indigent population. I think it’s fair to state that making a categorical assumption about a wide swath of people based on one or two experiences is unscientific. Valid polls and scientific studies have large sample sets, and people should question conclusions built upon inadequate sample sets. I’m not asking you to corroborate your experience, but it sounds like you’ve only had a few personal experiences that have informed your opinion. And that’s fine if you’re creating your opinion so that you can navigate your life, but when you take to a public platform and preach to people from an assumed place of authority without having earned that authority, then it’s fair to call that into question.

        I’m glad that you agree that affordable housing in cities is lacking. There’s actually a lot of evidence that strongly suggests that it’s because a large majority of new construction in most major cities was for luxury housing. Luxury housing is housing that is affordable to a household with an income of $70K (more or less, depending on the municipality). I can provide the study results if you’re interested. (In fact I could talk about affordable housing all day.) And I agree that the denizens of a municipality should look to their local ordinances and leadership to provide answers to the hard questions we’re facing about housing, minimum wages, environmental impact, decision making, etc. I appreciate that you and your family donate money to those in need, though I will caution you to examine how those dollars are spent within the organizations you choose. Many use a significant portion of their proceeds for administrative costs.

        I agree that I don’t know you and made an unfair assumption about you based merely on what you said and how you said it. That said, the only assumption I made was that you embrace Conservative (possibly Republican) party line politics. And just taking a look at your blog history and at the content of this post, it seems very likely that my assumption is true. I also think either I didn’t clearly communicate my point, you misunderstood it, or both. What I’m referring to is the point I was making about taking homes, and all the benefits of having one, for granted. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think what you understood from my statement was that “people like you” take for granted that you have a home. What I was trying to say was that people like you take the safety of a home for granted.

        A home is a place that provides shelter; warmth; privacy; storage; access to basic amenities like water, power, and (increasingly these days) internet. A home is literally your personal safe space. To do whatever you want to do (as long as it doesn’t harm another person or infringe upon the rights of others). And even to do those things that most people find unsavory, disgusting, or “immoral” (let’s not get into a morality debate). While I don’t want other people to do heroin or methamphetamine or to abuse, assault, or harass people within their homes, they CAN do it. However, they must be willing to accept the consequences if/when someone complains about their egregious behavior. But since I’m not a fan of hyperbolic arguments, I brought up cannabis and alcohol usage: two activities which are only acceptable in designated spaces (like your home). Other such activities are nudity and sex. Two seemingly unavoidable things in life that homeless people are forced to do without or to do in public spaces because or to pay for a private space to do. (Also, I know there are homeless shelters where people can sleep and take showers, but there is limited space and a booming homeless population in Portland, as well as strict rules which are extremely difficult to abide by when you have an addiction issue.)

        I agree that money management among many homeless people is deplorable. It’s one of the most frustrating things that I encounter at work though, luckily, that falls outside of the scope of my job. I think there’s a partial misconception that homeless people are buying drugs, per se. I won’t say that it doesn’t happen, but there are many who essentially barter for drugs with other substances or for services (prostitution, drug running, etc.) It’s not easy for homeless people to get jobs and for those who have addictions or mental health issues, keeping a job is nigh impossible. And it’s extremely difficult to reason with an addicted person or a person with mental health issues. The system doesn’t treat these folks well or even humanely in some cases, and so there’s no rapport between service providers and those who need what they offer. There’s lots of reasons for that: worker burnout, worker and recipient bias, lack of cooperation by the person receiving services, lack of funding which leads to triage-oriented provision of services, and regular old neglect. I think the biggest contributor is lack of funding because many of the other reasons are dependent upon funding.

        I think another reason could be lack of motivation and discipline. Some people are content with their government-provided lifestyle or with a lifestyle of squalor, but it’s disingenuous to purport that most people who receive government aid are in this category. I also take issue with the lack of scrutiny given to people of means who abuse the system, especially because they frequently do so with impunity. Corporate welfare runs rampant and there is no outcry against it. It’s barely a talking point even though we all know it happens. Corporate welfare takes the form of tax breaks, relaxed regulations, the abysmally low capital gains tax (which is the only real tax some wealthy folks pay since they have the luxury of shuffling money into untouchable accounts). An example you can relate to as a Seattleite is Amazon. They are a heavy user of the infrastructure in Seattle (as well as many many other municipalities) and yet they were granted tax breaks which shield them from paying their fair share for the maintenance of the very infrastructure upon which they depend. Let’s not forget that Amazon’s impact on roads and bridges is significantly larger than the average American’s. I get that we consumers are providing the demand that causes that usage BUT why does that exempt Amazon from paying that business cost? Small businesses pay that cost. But I digress.

        I too have tried offering panhandlers food rather than money and, yeah, sometimes I get yelled at, but I don’t take it personally because many panhandlers’ lives are terrible. I can’t judge them through the same lens that I would judge a rude barista or an angry, reckless driver. I think the most accessible analogy I’ve used to help people understand how powerless people can feel and be in their addiction struggles is to think of them from the lens of a person with PTSD. My example is a good childhood friend of mine who joined the Army out of high school who came back traumatized from his service. This once happy-go-lucky friend returned incapable of coping with his experiences (which include killing civilians as well as combatants) without alcohol. My friend became a suicidal, fall-down alcoholic and it was increasingly difficult for him to participate in normal society. Staying at a job for 8 hours a day was too difficult and he burned through jobs until he took work with a family member who was sympathetic to his plight. Not everyone is so lucky though. I’d like to note that many homeless people are the veterans that the government forgets once their tour of duty expires. Support our troops does not translate to veteran support. That said, I’ve met veterans that thrived in and out of the military.

        I’m sorry about your uncle. I think we agree on the failure of the system, though we differ on the how to solve the issues. I’m not an expert and won’t purport to be, but what I have noticed in Portland is half-hearted attempts. A problem is identified and citizens and/or community leaders propose a solution or a ballot measure. Oftentimes a study is commissioned, and experts quantify the issue so they can suggest solutions before recommending a ballot measure. However, when it is put to vote opposition groups merely turn out to negate the effort, rather than offer an alternative solution. It has happened countless times in my 8 years here. Alternatively, if the legislative route is taken (where legislators champion an issue and put it to vote in the legislature), a study will still be commissioned to identify how to address the issue. Then legislators chip away the most impactful provisions, for one reason or another, and then if something is passed it is a shell of what was proposed at the outset. Then sometime in the future disingenuous politicians point to the “failure” of the legislation, while omitting the fact that what was passed was doomed to be ineffectual. This happens at the local level, in Salem, and in Washington D.C. I will refer to a point made in my first post about the Right 2 Dream homeless community that never really succeeded in Portland. The city has no problem “sweeping” homeless camps, but does not allocate money to relocate them. There’s no plan except to get them out of sight. Just the language (sweeping homeless camps) can be used as proof of what outcome is desired. Sweep them away!

        I think you might be interested in how the Sackler family (of Perdue Pharma fame) contributed to the opioid epidemic. I recommend listening to a podcast by investigative journalist Robert Evans called “Behind the Bastards.” He chronicles the negative impacts that powerful people have had on society from an American perspective. I will be up front and state that Robert Evans is a leftist, but he has a bit of a Libertarian bent that I’m quite familiar with. The episodes about the Sacklers are Episodes 56 and 57. The reason I bring this up is to address your point about community leaders targeting corporations rather than mental health policies. I still maintain that the issue is funding, but I will add that responsible management of those funds is to blame. Of course there is an upper limit on how much money can have a positive impact, but many mental health programs are woefully underfunded, and they are often nonprofit organizations so they are dependent on outside funding (donations and tax dollars) and not revenue. I think the reason corporations like Perdue Pharma or tobacco companies or fossil fuel companies should be targeted is because they extract profits from communities while damaging them at the same time. And they do not contribute back to the community in a meaningful way. Maybe they did at some point, but that is a thing of the past. So of course they should be held to account. They owe us that money. They falsely advertised their drugs as non addictive, they lied about the addictive nature of nicotine and the damaging effect of the multitude of additives in cigarettes, they damaged the Gulf and Puerto Rico and ANWR and Standing Rock and lied about the effects of greenhouse gasses. And someone has to pay for remediation/restitution. Why should the American people be saddled with that burden when they were just taking the so-called industry experts at the (lying) word?

    • GWB says:

      I’m far from the type of person lambasted in this blog post
      Bull. You sound like EXACTLY the sort of person lambasted in this post.
      Perhaps if you could actually see that around the timber in your eye, you might get something out of it.

    • GWB says:

      Oh, and bull on this, too:
      the things we’re so offended about have a miniscule presence or effect in our own lives
      Before progressives made everything political, this might have been true. But not now. And Lisa is most certainly not being a snowflake with this.
      (Oh, btw, your claim about “not affecting” is also a lie, since this action would impact everyone by stealing their property for someone else’s use.)

    • Colleen says:

      I don’t see any smugness coming from the author, but I do see a definite (ironic) smugness in your reply: ‘what’s funny is I don’t usually comment..on blogs’…ummm, ok. Anyway, there’s a reason smoking pot is restricted to your own home: Because ppl just being outside minding their own business should in no way be effected by your second hand smoke. Every individual has the right to free choice, but your free choice can’t take away *someone else’s free choice*. This gross enabling at the expense of productive citizens’ ability to go through their day unassaulted by everything from aggressive panhandling to life-threatening biohazards has to stop. We do have a responsibility to the least-well of our population, but that responsibility isn’t to normalize their self-destructive choices, or to make them “more comfortable” at the expense of our own basic comfort. Our responsibility is to provide resources for those who need and want help, who want to be a part of a healthy community; not to cater to those who are happy to destroy it.

    • Anchovy says:

      It is not society’s fault that you do not have any talents or skills that are worth more than minimum wage. You are simply uncompetitive.

  • GWB says:

    Planning and Sustainability Commission
    Wow, that sounds very… soviet.

    Raw sewage dumped from illegal RVs parked on the side of the road in neighborhoods in Seattle polluting waterways.
    Well, it IS Christmas.

    No mandatory safe spaces on the large, lush lots of waterfront homes. No mandatory safe spaces alongside Bavarian mountain cottages.
    Ah, but you see, those ARE their safe spaces. The ones for the homeless are next to you, theirs are in gated communities and on islands. Yours? Well, you have Disneyland, don’t you?

    Are they being kind to them
    Just like the jackholes who stop on the one road near my domicile to let out everyone waiting at the stop sign on the side road. Yes, they’re being oh so kind to those people, while backing up traffic behind themselves (which has the right-of-way, and traffic coming the other way is directly out of a lighted intersection) for a half mile. Kind to whom is the question. And the answer is often “To those whom kindness affects me least.”

  • An actual PRX resident says:

    It’s clear that this is not a topic you’ve bothered to educate yourself on (have you even bothered to step foot in Oregon? I doubt it), so let me enlighten you:

    1. Everyone deserves the space to exist, regardless of how or whether they engage in capitalism.

    What does this mean? You cannot live/camp in most public parks. Even in National forests you have to keep it moving every 14 days. For those with no means to rent housing (maybe they are unable to work due to addiction or disability), that means there very existence is essentially illegal. This is immoral and unethical.

    2. Some people are homeless because they have substance addictions… and some people develop substance addictions because they are homeless.

    Have you ever spent a night on the street? I haven’t as an adult (fortunately I am a professional adult with an advanced degree in a medical field), but as a kid I lived in abject poverty and my family suffered with bouts of homelessness. Every single moment of life as a homeless person, especially winters in Oregon, are excruciating. Had I had access to any mind-layering substance as a child/teen I would have surely tried it, just to take the dye off of being cold, hungry, and scared every moment of my life. Not to mention the reality for many homeless people is sleep means getting robbed or raped (sexual assault is absolutely rampant on the streets and guess what? Those cases are given very low priority thanks in part due to stigma against homelessness). Furthermore, you can get plenty of cannabis products from a local dispensary for under $10 that’ll last you days to a week. Acting like spending a little bit of money on a substance that makes living on the street slightly kore tolerable is disingenuous, at best.

    3. There are plenty of reasons people cannot stay in homeless shelters, or obstacles to staying in homeless shelters, I will give you a few examples: Most require a recent TB test with a negative result. This is great for public health, bad for homeless people as these tests locally are around $50 and insurance does not cover them (I know, as a professional at a hospital I have needed them myself). No $50 and ID for the test, no shelter.
    Many are not set up to take families/children.
    Few (if not none) allow people to bring belongings. That duffel bag of clothes and necessities you took when you got evicted from your apartment? Can’t bring it in, which means it will be stolen by the time you wake up.
    None allow animals, so kiss your only companion on the streets goodbye.

    4. So you’ve worked 2-3 jobs at a time to get where you are? Great, then you should also recognize that all it takes is one financial disaster that could put you in the same position. I personally just fought (very early, as I’m only in my 30s) breast cancer. If I didn’t have my cushy position and great insurance, I would probably be homeless right now. The cost of my treatment is currently at $400,000. I remember when I had insurance that only paid 80% of my medical costs. How many people can afford 20% of $400K? (Not including prescriptions). Your complete lack of compassion when you have more in common with this community than you’d like to admit is simultaneously laughable and a thing of pity. You’re not immune to homelessness.

    Throw the whole article away.

    • GWB says:

      Sorry, but compassion does not equate to giving up a nice, civil society and community, nor to stealing from others. Which is exactly what Portland (and, it seems, you) is suggesting.

      • Penrod says:

        You nailed it.

        Compassion does not require allowing people to sleep on my lawn, my front porch, or using my property as a public toilet.

        Anyone opposed to capitalist property ownership: Compassion does not require the Glorious Proletarian Collective allowing people to sleep on the community green space, on the front porch of the dwelling unit assigned to me, or using my assigned space as a public toilet.

        The Glorious Proletarian Collective has a social responsibility to minimize anti-social behaviors, such as the above. Sewage on the sidewalks, in the streets and on porches, rats, and fleas are not part of a socially responsible community, no matter what your politics.

  • Kim says:

    I actually LIVE here. If you ever ventured out of your rural town to WORK in the cities you would know this is an issue in almost EVERY large city in this country. The # 1 state for homeless is Hawaii with Arizona, Florida and Texas, Seattle California Nevada and New York. I worked as an Americorps Volunteer social worker for our population here. We are one of the few cities that offer housing for vets and grocery stores and farmers donate to our hungry. We have tripled in population in only 4 years with a mass exodus being from Florida, Utah, Idaho, California and Texas. Taxpayers are struggling to keep up with all the expansion in schools and roads. Not to mention nearly half who come for jobs live directly acrossed the river in Washington and come here for decent jobs. You may not LIKE the way we chose to handle these issues but unless you have a better idea and include the red states also struggling rather than pander to your right wing talking points and memorized phrases then it’s not even worth discussing with you. Perhaps Blue states like the entire northwest and much of the eastern states should stop paying taxes to support farmers and rural who can’t find jobs? Personally, I’m sick and tired of us supporting them and people like you.

    • Scott says:

      “If you ever ventured out of your rural town to WORK in the cities you would know this is an issue in almost EVERY large DEMOCRAT RUN city in this country.”… There fixed it for ya Kim

  • Sj says:

    As a outsider looking in, I am sure glad my friend pointed this blog post out to me. I’m from the Atlantic Northeast and have had the pleasure of visiting Portland OR twice in the last 4 years. I must say the absolute beauty of the Pacific Northwest is breathtaking. However this epidemic of homelessness that you folks are experiencing is quite remarkable to me. I sure hope that you’re able to come up with some sort of fix.
    Very interesting read thanks for sharing.

  • Charles N. Steele says:

    I am astonished by leftists who proclaim that allowing homeless addicts to establish permanent camps in cities is at all reasonable. That they do so with what appears to be anger and self-righteousness only adds to my astonishment.

  • Jak says:

    I have never seen housing priced for 1, 2, or 5. The price is the price. Rent it or dont. Get a second job or a better job. Millions did it you can too.

  • Fred Walls says:

    Absolute idiocy. These scum have precisely one right–the right to be horsewhipped all the way out of town. You crying snowflakes get exactly the town and residents you deserve.

  • Diggs says:

    The idea that homelessness is society’s problem and not an individual’s problem is a redo of the 70s idea that crime was society’s problem and not the criminal’s. The end result was a huge upswing in crime. Once that idea on crime prevention was dumped overboard, crime has plummeted.
    We now see the same thing with homelessness. It’s not the fault of the individual, it’s “society’s fault” (see almost every comment above). The cure, they say, is not getting the individual help, but to demand society accept homelessness, just as the cure in the 70s was for society to “accept” crime. As one who will never live in the PNW, and so don’t vote or pay taxes there, I say if that’s the way they want to live, so be it. Good for them. Experiment away with the idea that homelessness is not an individual’s problem, but society’s problem. Give them a tent, a public spot to stay, a welcome mat, and legal protection. Not a one of those things is going to do anything to stop homelessness, only increase it.

    • L. E. Joiner says:

      Diggs is right. You get more of what you pay for.

    • GWB says:

      Just so long as they’re not using MY money (I don’t live or work in the PNW, either) or resources to do it. Screw up your state/city with your own money.

      And, yes, socializing costs is a classic prog thing – with crime or homelessness or drugs or well, anything. You didn’t like it in elementary school when everyone got punished for the jerk kid’s misbehavior; why should you like it now?

      • Juan says:

        Nixon started the war on drugs and it was continued by several presidents until it was ramped up by Reagan. LBJ started the war on crime and it was, again, continued by Reagan. And now the “war on homelessness” is being courted by Trump. These “wars” share bipartisan support, rather than being “progressive” pet projects as you suggest.

        It seems that politicians of both parties merely parrot these wedge issues and talking points to distract from the terrible waste going on. How much money was wasted on these efforts, even just at the federal level?

        Also, the jerk kid analogy is a false equivalence. The jerk kid you refer to is purposely acting out. The homeless guy spewing word salad is having a mental health crisis. One is willful behaviour, the other is symptomatic of illness. And if you don’t think psychological disorders are “real” then talk to your local war veteran.

        • GWB says:

          share bipartisan support, rather than being “progressive” pet projects
          Well, if you think “progressive” is just another name for “Democrat” then you might be under that illusion.

          But, progressivism has crept into our culture through our schools, and most people fall prey to its assumptions at least once in a while.
          Nixon was a progressive. Just because he was a chamber of commerce progressive doesn’t make him any less a progressive.

          You read an AWFUL LOT into what I wrote as a comment. I might take the time to respond to the issues you bring up about which I wasn’t talking at all, but not now. (A whole lot of assumptions went into your comment, Juan.)

  • Greg says:

    Let them have do what they want. It won’t take long for them to run it all into the ground.

  • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    Here’s how the city of Vancouver, WA has not handled the homeless problem – Vancouver is across the Columbia from Portland:

    The Navigation Center mentioned in the article was a mistake from the start – poorly managed and in a residential neighborhood that had been trying to clean up for years. There are daily fights between the homeless and the police are called out constantly to intervene. Take a look at the comments to get an idea of how some in the community feel about the problem

  • Angelo Rombola says:

    The Fourth Amendment was mentioned but not reaLLY CITED IN THIS ARTICLE. But to paraphrase:
    “The right to be protected against…..unreasonable search and seizure”. In effect, this means the city cannot take away your right to your property or its use without your acceptance and approval. Once you SUBMIT to this unwarranted taking of your property you may as well pack it in because the city now owns you. Remember, you’re letting the camel put its nose under your tent- followed by ????

  • Doctor Mist says:

    My wife and I have long dreamed of retiring to Portland, a friendly and beautiful city two decades ago. I have read enough that I doubt it is what we want any more, but she still needs convincing. Where should we visit to see how bad it is?

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