PORTLAND'S EFFORTS to house homeless people while preventing others from slipping into homelessness have worked—just not well enough to cause reductions in the area’s homeless population.
In an annual report [PDF] presented earlier this week, the city/county A Home for Everyone coalition presented data showing local government and social service workers placed almost 4,900 people into housing in fiscal year 2017—nearly 300 more than last year, and well above target.
Local providers also stepped up their efforts at preventing people from becoming homeless through resources like rent assistance. Nearly 2,000 more new clients were served than last year—6,139 versus 4,174.
And the expansion of homeless shelter space in Portland meant nearly 1,900 more people were served in emergency shelters than in 2016, the report indicated.
The number of people helped suggests that the scope of the city’s homelessness problem would be far worse if not for the intervention. But the new assistance also hasn’t been able to cut into Portland’s bottom line. According to a report released earlier this year, the city’s homeless population is up 10 percent from 2015. DIRK VANDERHART
A RETIRED Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) employee who used his last day of work to troll athletic apparel giant Under Armour has paid up for his hijinks.
Kirk Kennedy recently sent the City of Portland $266.16 in connection with a rogue Nike “swoosh” he installed in thermoplastic on July 28 outside of Under Armour’s new Southwest Portland outpost, according to PBOT spokesperson John Brady.
“Mr. Kennedy paid the bill in full,” Brady said.
As the Mercury reported earlier this month, Kennedy, a former traffic crew leader at PBOT, spent his last-ever hour in the city’s employ melding the plastic swoosh to the Southwest Barbur asphalt using a blowtorch as his crew mates looked on. The city sent him an invoice for cleanup, threatening legal action.
Kennedy did not include an explanation of the deed with his check, Brady said. DVH