Letters to the Editor

This Week: Portlanders’ Advice on How to Get High. And How to Get Drunk.

Comments

1
So flavio, none of these homeless people you despise used to live in Portland homes or apartments before out of town developers caused the rents to become unaffordable? Note that a lot of homeless people are families and a lot are mentally ill and handicapped. But then again, I guess the only people we should really be concerned about are our landlords, right?
2
"Simplistic opinions about those less fortunate are a dime a dozen...". This coming from the paper that characterizes ALL homeless as people simply down on their luck, pushed out of their homes due to high rent. Do those people exist? Sure do! But are ALL homeless those people? Nope.

The things Flavio mentioned do exist... the discarded needles, the trash, the human waste... you can drive around town and POINT TO THE EVIDENCE. So... what do we do about THOSE THINGS?

Homeless advocates, The Mercury (and to a smaller degree, Willamette Week) always gloss over those issues and simply name-call the person bringing them up. They never acknowledge the issues... they simply ignore them and name-call. It's a classic Republican tactic being used by so-called Liberals.

3
@Berny5: Flavio didn't say ALL homeless engaged in the behavior he described. Typical of a extremist homeless advocate, you gloss over the issues raised and immediately attempt to change the subject. See, Flavio and others are talking about the homeless who do engage in criminal activity, cause environmental damage, leave piles of garbage and human waste, AND discard their used needles out in the open. What's your take on THESE things?

And if your theory is that ALL homeless in in their situation because rent is too high... would this not be a solution?:

The median cost of rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Albuquerque NM is $858 a month. Spokane is $867, Boise is $893 and Wichita KS is $750. A one bedroom is $100-$200 cheaper.

I would be in favor of subsidizing those who wish to move to one of the above cities in order to gain permanent housing... say, $1000-$1500 for moving expenses.
I mean, if the solution is simply lower rent, then helping someone move to one of the cities listed above will immediately solve all of their problems and all that that entails (such as criminal activity, environmental damage, piles of garbage and human waste, discarded needles...etc), right?
4
LOL, the Mercury's "bone-deep" fear of facts and nuance. The homeless are not a monolith. There is a portion of the homeless population that is, indeed, just down on their luck, or had a bad health or financial incident. Or are escaping domestic violence and have nowhere to turn but the streets. We have some resources to help those folks, and should be funding more, but it needs to be a collective effort of building a lot more housing, and if we want new construction to be at all affordable, it will have to be subsidized. That's fine, tax everyone to smooth things out, as this is the portion of Portland's homeless population most likely to be "native" to the area and simply displaced locally, and it is also not even close to the majority of homeless, because those folks are almost always hustling to get back on their feet and get back to stability.

And then there are the mentally ill. This is the "national" problem, following the Reagan era of massively cutting funding and infrastructure to treat mental illness - with those facilities now gone (which were problematic in many ways, but I would argue beneficial on balance), we now direct the mentally ill in one of two directions: prison, or the streets, neither of which is productive or compassionate, and both of which are way more expensive. But is Portland going to solve the entire mental health issue itself? We could cut all school and road funding, and still wouldn't have enough - so we have to decide, how much do we take from other things in the budget (like schools, roads, water infrastructure, parks, street cleaning, etc.) to direct towards that issue. How much would each of you personally cut out of your personal discretionary budget to donate to this cause? No more than you already are, in all likelihood - if you haven't already put your money where your mouth is, you are just spouting off at your fellow neighbors and citizens in a highly hypocritical way.

And finally there is the portion of the homeless population that is transient through their own shitty choices, a significant percentage of which is drug-related. They refuse to follow the conditions set down by shelter services (curfew, no drugs), refuse drug treatment when offered, and are the ones most likely to be dangerous to the rest of the population, either through crime to generate the money to buy their next fix, or from the actions they take while tripping balls, or leaving discarded needles, spreading Hep A, HIV, and other needle-transmitted illnesses, taking shits in the street or in doorways, etc. None of you folks who social justice warrior it up for the "homeless" ever even acknowledge that this is at least a quarter or more of the homeless population, is not sympathetic or down on their luck, and is an active danger and detriment to the rest of the largely wonderful humans who live in Portland. Can you even acknowledge this facet of the issue? What is your solution to this category of people? They are not the same "homeless" as the down-on-their-luck or the mentally ill.
5
I love how Republicans get so hot and bothered whenever someone talks about social justice programs. "One in four homeless people are greedy addicts who shit in doorways and scatter dirty needles like the Easter bunny!" "We can't afford social services unless we shut down schools and fire bus drivers!" "How can we landlords make money sitting on our asses and gouging struggling families when you liberals keep giving them opportunities to keep a roof over their heads with dignity?"

You're so smug and entitled until someone tells you to chip in for the problem you've been profiting from, and that its wrong to double people's rent and give them no-cause evictions. That's when your inner pussy comes out (no offense to actual vaginas).

"Whaaaa! My mommy told me that if I invest my inheritance in rental properties and live off the backs of people who actually work for a living, everything would work out fine! Now there's all these icky homeless people everywhere and they're totally killing my vegan pot brownie buzz! Have some pity for my precious net worth!!"

Fuck you people (no offense to actual people). You are the real scum of the earth. If morals were money you'd have been bankrupt long ago.