I've heard a few urban myths about what panhandlers make. I've always assumed they've made somewhere between minimum wage and maybe above on a good day if they were dedicated. What peeves me most is lots of people work crummy jobs and get paid close to nothing. I've been there in this recession. Did I like getting debased by working a job that was pointless? Hell no, but I and other people did it anyway.
Granted, there's probably barriers to these people not working like substance abuse or mental illness or past convictions, but a sizeable portion of them could turn the corner if they were held to task.
I don't care what a panhandler makes, what I and others care about is there is a panhandler on every corner. We are offering a terrible face to tourists, potential businesses, and of course to our own damn residents who want to enjoy the city without being asked for change on every block.
It is coming apparent to most Portlanders that no matter how much we spend on this, no matter how many meetings they hold, no matter how much time we spend on the issue that homelessness in town will only get worse if we stop enforcing the rules and laws that we already have on the books. It is especially getting worse in regards to drug use and sales in our parks and on our streets, with almost zero enforcement.
One of the problems the city has is the way homelessness interfaces with the city. Residents and business owners have zero assurance their doorway won't turn into a shooting gallery or someone won't camp outside their door. Even if these things happen, they're stonewalled by an apathetic city government.
Go ahead, spend away, but until we enforce laws that bring civility to the streets—the problem will continue to get worse. We are seeing the evidence of that on our streets.
But the self-congratulatory agencies and advocates will pat themselves on the back everytime they think they've scored more money or opened more shelter spaces—but there's 10 new people lined up behind them looking for services and many people are running empty with regard to their compassion levels.
Many people support spending on the homeless, but it's a give and take that street level conditions improve and they can open a business or walk down the street without seeing blatant drug use or sit in the park and not experience misery around every nook.
We've been spending millions on this problem with worsening street conditions.
What gives? The advocates say more money will make the conditions better. Either they're lying or we're stupid to believe them. I am confused.
Homeless population numbers are taken during the winter. Our numbers are highest during the summer where I'd argue Los Angeles' numbers are highest during the winter. Homeless numbers are taken at the county level, so you need to account for those populations, not city. Some other numbers/rankings might also lump metro level data with city. We need to know our CITY population, not METRO data. Who cares about Beaverton or LO?
This issue isn't just about total numbers only it's also about code enforcement. NYC has homeless people, lots in fact, but do they let them camp out where they want at anytime during the day and night? No, they don't.
We are fairly loose with enforcement. NYC and San Francisco are two different beasts in regards to how homelessness interfaces with daily city life to help elucidate my point.
What has happened outside of our city hall wouldn't be tolerated for a New York minute in NYC, and pretty much any other city.
We're too concerned about rankings with other cities and not asking ourselves what is and is not tolerable on our streets. It's good for comparison and that's it.
"It's one of the reasons Portland is viewed as a national model in addressing homelessness."
We are!? Does this guy walk outside at all?
If Fish is so passionate about housing, why is he listing a half-million dollar home in a poor neighborhood?
Is this guy delusional? I think I've answered that question.
And thanks to Israel Bayer for posting concrete ideas, though they won't get any better results than we are getting right now which means we need do like other cities do and enforce laws and codes we have.
These pictures don't reveal much unless you can prove people are being removed for standing outside City Hall. They are enforcing people sitting or laying down in these zones. The sign reads "...for pedestrian movement" which is what people in line are doing.
I see no pictures of people sitting or laying down or their stuff piled everywhere outside VooDoo. Theses are the bigger trip hazards than people standing.
I am the type of person that believes large events that snake around sidewalks merit permits such as Apple product releases, large concerts, including stuff like this.
I don't believe there's current city permits for that outside of what we have for cafes.
Maybe we need one? But this post doesn't prove a discrepancy, maybe more about gaps on what does and does not spur a permit.
Design wise that street needs to be reduced in width to accommodate more people with increased sidewalk space that ties nicely into the pedestrian-seating alley.
You could have at least rubbed the person's stomach.
Is that so much to ask for on a first date these days?
Homeless numbers are taken in the winter. I'd argue Portland's homeless population swells a good 25%, possibly more in the summer.
You're in denial that this is not an issue, or that Portland's numbers aren't high.
Even in cities with high numbers of homeless people, there is less of a conflict and more livability and code regulations that are enforced which reduces conflicts like we have.
I mean, we have homeless youth allegedly following and attacking people where they live. And, it's not the only time something violent has happened like this.
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