This will continue to be the situation for years to come as long as we place 95% of our focus on "housing first". And, the real kicker is that years down the road, even if we had a nice apartment for everyone, a good % of these folks would be destined to fail (and ruin the living experience in a dangerous way for fellow tenants) if they were just shoved into an apartment without first receiving intensive drug and mental health services. This isn't rocket science.

In any case, I'd like to see an investigative article on where all the $ is going, because we certainly aren't lacking $ or local resources in the homeless industry. Last I heard there were over 200 local homeless-related charities that receive taxpayer funds in the Portland area.


Alex - Portland has to make some hard decisions to deal with the houseless. Is it wrong that there's an "eerie silence" where laws are enforced? Is it wrong not to want drug addicts, mentally unstable, violent unhoused tents blocking sidewalks and making old town unsafe? Let's be honest and admit there are a lot of "houseless" that like living on the streets that don't want to live in a shelter or have a job there's been plenty of recent articles where some houseless in old town ere interviewed. Let's also admit there will not be apartments for every unhoused person living on the streets that drug addiction has a very low recovery rate. I hope future sweeps can use some finessing, but at least this is progress.


I for one will be happy to cause some chaos in this newly christened 'People's Downtown for Hygiene and Justice', just to remind you of how sweeps are at best short-term solutions.


In some peoples Blue Sky World capitalism is the problem for everything and doing nothing is the solution. Sweeps are effective to clean up the feces, tents that block sidewalks so elderly and those with disabilities can use the sidewalk and crime. I know businesses leaving the area because employees are harmed or don't feel safe is something you don't care about but luckily everyone doesn't agree with you.Yeah causing chaos that's the solution. Maybe break some small business windows that will solve things my friend. Your past comments say a lot


The human cost of doing nothing, which is what Alex consistently advocates is far worse than the targeted disruption of street camping. Alex apparently has never met any of the thousands who call Old Town home - the housed residents of the neighborhood. The issues are always presented as big property owners vs the disadvantaged. The reality is so much different. Do the people who call Old Town home, the housed, not deserve passable sidewalks? Are they not entitled to enter their buildings without having to negotiate a gauntlet of meth smokers?

For Ms Zielinski, who apparently has never seen a school bus picking up children in Old Town, next to a cadre of meth smokers in the vestibule adjacent to their stop, the virtue signaling is the thing. Talk to a few junkies, to some advocates who profit from people on the street, done and done. No mention of societal costs, the destruction of the public commons, and the common weal.

The Mercury point of view is tiresome. People deserve to be able to walk (or god forbid, to negotiate a wheelchair) to a grocery store on sidewalks that are passable. They deserve safe entry to their homes. Enough with parachuting into Old Town, ignoring the residents, and acting as though unsheltered tent campers are the only endangered residents. We get it Mercury, you think the status quo of people sleeping on the streets is fine.


@PDX_Pints Yes yes yes and the people will be back to roost with their tents because it's a downtown area and that's what a city is known for suffering endemically from. But I'm sure having the police disband everyone in their generally heavy handed ways won't create any resentment whatsoever, trauma, or dislocation.


The article is a lazy op-ed piece IMHO. Even the title "It's psychological warfare" is such clickbait we see over and over. “The cops are bad.”..”Everyone is picking on the unhoused”’s a couple people interviewed that are down on their luck..covid..high rent!

Does Art Rios suggest it's a bad thing that there’s less tents? Old town has a long history of crime so is it a bad thing that business not big corporations small business owners want to be able to..well stay open and also be safe. I won't get into how many business have left because of this but lots.

So what is the solution if not sweeps? The unhoused are given a heads up of what is coming and provided places to stay. If this was article was more balanced it would describe one of the unhoused not having access to showers and then clarify there’s available hot showers - 6th and Irving, Union Gospel Mission and Hygiene4All under Morrison Bridge to name a few. Additionally shelters are available but there’s refusal to say at them.

It’s naive to pretend things will improve if we just let the unhoused residents stay in old town. That they will get jobs and apartments…if only the police wouldn’t sweep if only they didn’t have to move their tents for a little bit. Let’s remember there hasn’t been sweeps for years but more and more unhoused keep going into old town.

There’s a lot too unpack for the Portland homeless crisis..the impact of measure 110, fentanyl and meth..houseless from other states coming to Portland (Old Town) for this. Things need to change so how about this if there’s going to be conversations let’s admit there’s a problem for residents both the housed and unhoused. Let’s think what we can do to help the sweeps for the future. Is mental health along with the police for the sweeps? I’m not sure as the article was very light on actual reporting. I'm going to Old Town in the next few days..I heard the Chinese Garden is beautiful.


I'd suggest anyone who wants to read something much more unbiased; this is a good read. Alex, this would be especially good for you to read 😊

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