On the front end, the plan is fantastic and builds a base for ongoing support for services, such as public restrooms, that are essential not just for people experiencing poverty, but all Portlanders.
It may be buried in paragraph six, but that's as ringing an endorsement as a city politician is likely to get in the current climate for coming up with a policy like this. Compared to the outcry over the sit/lie law, for example, it's a marked change. But Street Roots also suggests that the plan should be the be seen as an opportunity to "change the way Portland messages and works for with individuals on the streets."
Writes the Roots: "the city could choose, through a public education campaign, to engage people on the streets through outreach from social-service agencies and support from the broader community."
We'll see. It would be marvelous if all the energy that was spent fighting the sit/lie could be changed into something more positive, but at this point, I can't help feeling like both sides just need a time out for a year or so until all the controversy blows over. In the mean time, I'd love to see the outreach efforts improving, and of course, broader community support for homeless issues. I'm just pretty cynical about it.