AFTER WEEKS of outcry, the Portland Business Alliance announced last week it's going to remove a downtown billboard that suggests all panhandlers are addicts.
The billboard, posted at SW 4th and Morrison and featuring a person holding a sign that said, "Your spare change funds my addictions," had drawn ire from online petitioners, advocates, and even the PBA's chosen mayoral candidate, Ted Wheeler.
It was part of an ad campaign aimed at convincing Portlanders to give to social services rather than panhandlers—something the PBA has tried repeatedly in recent years, through its affiliate organization Downtown Clean and Safe.
Also: Surprise! The organization painted its decision to remove the controversial billboard as a success, saying: "We were pleased to see the attention the current billboard brought to our outreach efforts." DIRK VANDERHART
MAYOR CHARLIE HALES loves invoking San Francisco as a troubled metropolis whose income disparities Portland must avoid. But he's also been taking a lot of ideas from that city lately.
A little more than a week after the city approved $30,000 aimed at emulating a San Francisco program that buys homeless people Greyhound tickets, the mayor announced in his final State of the City address he'll be cribbing another idea. In coming months, Hales plans to open a homeless shelter that will be modeled after the popular "Navigation Center" he toured on a recent visit to the Bay Area.
The invite-only shelter will open up near Southeast's Revolution Hall, according to Willamette Week. DVH