I think it is pathetic that you "vilify" a person be using terms like "conservative" to further divide people on the real issue at hand. Homelessness IS a very serious problem in our City, and your ignorance and accusations reflect nothing less than the dream world you live in rather than getting your self on the street and finding out for yourself how this problem is affecting homeowners, businesses, and the very people you pathetically try and empathize with, the homeless! Get some learning before you spew your left wing bull crap and spin this to divide the City further with your politicization of a very real problem!
MI is not a spin-off of the Montavilla Neighborhood Association.Two of the founding MI board members do not live in Montavilla and were not members of the MNA. They are loud at our neighborhood meetings but thankfully do not reflect Montavilla residents. They are from a wealthier neighborhood trying to impose their views on Montavilla. I wish they would focus their energies on their own neighborhood.
I would urge the reviewer that accuses the members of Montavilla Initiative of 'not reflecting Montavilla residents' to refrain from making up ridiculous stories. The Montavilla Initiative group is in no way a 'spin-off' of the MNA, it is, however a coalton of active, concerned, thoughtful and rational residents that has sprung up ( much like a lotus if you will.) amidst the muck and un-checked chaos that is the MNA, who btw actually does not reflect the wishes of the vast majority of Montavillians, yet takes the liberty of speaking for everyone just the same. You might consider channeling some of that creative energy into finding solutions rather than incessantly stirring the turd of divisiveness within OUR community, and it is our community, we ALL live here. #montavillaresident #notwealthy
I don't know a single person who wants to "criminalize homelessness," yet the Portland Mercury continues with that talking point. "Low level crimes?" You mean like defecating/urinating in public? Do you mean shooting up drugs and leaving used needles in playgrounds, schoolyards and the street? Do you mean leaving piles upon piles of striped bike frames, and raw garbage strewn about our city? Are these the "low level crimes" of which you speak?
In the perfect extreme Liberal utopia, all these things and more would be on every corner, every neighborhood and on every street, and working class residents will finally accept and embrace them. I'm a Liberal, by the way... I just can't stand extremes of either side.
And if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: The Portland Mercury has now become the Left's version of Breitbart News.
Nice balanced article. (cue the sarcasm machine)
Throw the bums out!
Shoddy piece and completely unbiased.. so good that I think I'll clean my arse with it for my daily constitution later this afternoon.
Another prime example of poor journalism Mercury! Alex Zielinski should consider interviewing someone from Montavilla Initiative before writing nonsense like this.
As a member of MI, I have to say that Alex wanted to interview us, but we refused, due to her obvious inability to report something that is balanced. She also did a story on the Police Union meeting that was so lacking in facts, plagiarized, and so incredibly biased, that we felt it pointless to grant her an interview. I did, however, send her a statement from the MI board, which, of course, was not included in this article because it obviously didn't fit the narrative that she wanted to convey. I also find it incredible lazy that she calls us a "conservative group." First of all, I, personally, am a registered Democrat who has never voted Republican once in my life, and two, we simply aren't a political entity. We are called this by individuals like Alex in an attempt to discredit us without considering what we are saying. We are concerned with our degrading livability, and the fact that our leaders, such as Deborah Kafoury and Mayor Wheeler continue to ignore the problem. The following is the statement I sent to Alex:
Montavilla Initiative’s stance is that there are currently too many gaps in our system in connecting those in need with the services they require. Too often, police are called when there is a member of the community in crisis, such as a mental health issue. For example, recently a man was seen in our community who was obviously in crisis. He was catatonic, unresponsive, stumbling into a busy road, covered in his own feces, and occasionally screaming. Several members of our community called non-emergency. On two occasions, police came out, viewed this man without getting out of their squad cars, and then left when they determined that this person wasn’t breaking the law or seemed to be a danger to himself or others. It took us nearly nine hours to finally get an ambulance to come out and take him to hospital. This is simply unacceptable. There should have been an option of providing this man services immediately.
In our outreach to our community in the Montavilla neighborhood, as well as Lents, Brentwood-Darlington, Rose City, and several other neighborhoods, there has been a reported steady degradation of livability and public safety. Many people are afraid to leave their homes at night, have reported thefts of bikes, cars, and other items, break-ins, and harassment. These reports are coming from both the housed and unhoused community. Obviously, not all crime comes from the homeless population, just as not all victims come from the housed population. We need to remember that there are people in our community who have permanent shelter, but are struggling mightily with making ends meet, both due to rising housing costs, low wages, and other issues we are seeing within Portland. It is often these people who are the ones who are the most victimized by crime. We have multiple reports of contractors getting their work trucks and tools stolen, making it impossible to continue to earn a living without forking out tens of thousands of dollars to replace their items. We have people whose only modes of transportation to work are being stolen. For many, simply replacing a stolen bike is beyond their budgets. One neighbor in our community had his fuel line cut in his van in order to steal his fuel. The cut fuel line caused a short in the electrical system and it totaled the vehicle. This van had been used to transport his severally disabled daughter to and from her group home. He was financially unable to replace the van. We believe that when a crime occurs, it needs to be addressed by law enforcement and in the courts, whether that crime is committed from a member of the homeless or housed populations.
As far as addressing the issue of public cleanliness, there is the concern of trash, needles, and human waste that is a growing problem among the camps in our city. We would be for the city installing better trash services such as more trash receptacles, sharps containers, public toilets, and even portable showers. Unfortunately, these solutions don’t really address what the real problem is: we have entirely too many people living outdoors. Many homeless advocates seem to support the idea that we should keep the homeless outdoors. We don’t see this as a solution, but rather, the problem. We, as a community, need to be better than just leaving people out in the cold. Retrofitting Wapato would be a great way to get individuals both out of the cold, as well as triaging their needs, and connecting them to services in this state of the art facility.
Thanks, Boon2Watt. Alex Zielinski is probably the worst "journalist" I've seen in my nearly two decades of consistently reading the Mercury. She doesn't even make any pretenses about trying to report on facts, or get balanced statements.
When she has "reported" on events I have been to and witnessed, it's almost impossible to believe she was there at the same events. Why even bother going to events, debates, rallies, speeches, or covering neighborhood groups and getting statements from the actual people involved when you are just going to write the same article regardless of the facts on the ground?
And on top of that, the Mercury has begun a really bad habit of deleting critical comments. They should start with better, more accurate reporting instead.
Our biggest burden is voluntary homeless. You can read the article below as well as Google "gutter punks" and "transient punks" https://www.foxnews.com/us/voluntarily-vagrant-homeless-youth-a-crusty-urban-challenge
The legal marijuana here as well as reputation for leniency towards heroin have made Portland a have for a cluster of useless sub-population.
I heard about the "DIY culture" in Portland. I misunderstood it horribly. I thought it meant doing DIY projects, taking care of things yourself instead of hiring and so forth. No it has a lot to do with gutter punks, or itinerant transients.
No public funding should be expended on subsidizing zero or low budget "travelers" or "gutter punks" and it should be illegal for providing services to gutter punks to be considered "non-profit". It is just like making a cocktail bar "non-profit". Providing gutter punks is not a social need. It is their adventure which they're free to do as long as they have the resources to do without burdening the public. This means we need zero tolerance policy for their camping on ODOT property and the same for criminal mischief/unlawfully applying graffiti.
Thank you Boon2Watt for filling in where the person who is getting paid to cover topical issues in Portland is failing miserably. If the Mercury had any guts they would publish your comment here in next weeks paper.
Last year when I tried donating to Transition Projects via their website, they were having technical difficulties that made it impossible. Tried for weeks! Decided to give up on them because it's such a blatant example of no longer being an effective advocate for the homeless, it made me wonder where else they're failing.
"These incremental solutions show proven success ..."
My observations around the city for the past 22 years seem to contradict that assertion, or are you including tent camps as "success"? And these recent "tweaks" seem to be too little, too late. We need a REVOLUTION in homeless support and lower tolerance of the legitimate crime as Boon2Watt (hey fellow Minutemen fan!) already summarized, but policing should primarily come after adequate support exists. We're not there yet and that's what we need to solve. It's OUR responsibility, ALL of us, but within the government in particular, who is legally responsible for it and why hasn't the problem been solved already? I'm not accusing. I legitimately want to help solve the problem.
Alex has obviously angered and upset a bunch of people. Ignorant bigots don't like being called ignorant and bigoted, but that's what it is. Thanks Mercury. Keep it up.
If we made up stuff about you and called you names, Euphonius, would you be upset? If angering people is the goal, that's a pretty shitty goal. I thought the goal was accurate journalism, not just shit-slinging against our fellow citizens who also want to see this problem solved. There's something truly sociopathic about people like you who get off on name-calling and shouting down people who actually care about their community and their city.
You and your asshole colleagues are, in fact, doing that to me. Your hateful bigoted views toward poor people put you beyond civility. You're going to claim to care about this community? Yeah right. Oh and Fuck youself.
Yeah, the community includes people who live here, and people who need help, not transients who rob and steal to feed their drug habit and then trash the place. The community includes other homeless who are also victims of the subset of homeless who demonstrate this shitty behavior. Euphonius, I feel like if we found an instance of a homeless person beating puppies to death for fun and we tried to stop him, you'd jump in with some excuses as to why his behavior is okay simply because of the fact that he's homeless/poor. Is there any behavior you won't excuse just because someone has a lower socioeconomic status? Anything at all? Any line you care to draw? Because as it stands your position is shitty and ridiculous.
If you're trying to prove you're not a bigoted asshole, you're doing it wrong. Your vision of ignorance and hate isn't going to win. Not here. Never.
And fuck off, dick.
From the folks who almost brought the Patriot Prayer to our neighborhood elections last year ( https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-oregon-montavilla-neighborhood-association-election/ ), harassing vulnerable people at the place where they are seeking services. I welcome an article which interviews homeless advocates, the houseless, and other impacted services who point out how short-sighted their actions are. I hope they are actually reading for understanding, but they likely will not.
As an aside, the neighborhood response at the election last year was epic and not one MI candidate made it on the board. MI has spent this past year filing grievances and suing the MNA (over $6.5K worth of legal bills) and we've lost hours so many hours to our neighborhood while our amazing board dealt with them. The MI folks do not have the best interests of our neighborhood at heart.
How's the view from inside your own asshole, Euphonius? I imagine your eyes have adjusted to the dim lighting after all this time.
@FlavioSuave: It's no use trying to get these extreme homeless advocates to answer a simple question like, "Where do you draw the line?" Is the line drawn at defecating in public? Is the line drawn at stripping bike frames? Is the line drawn at used needles scattered all over? Is the line drawn at camping legally? Garbage piles? Open drug dealing? Open drug use?
Just like Euphonius, they'll never answer the question and ALWAYS pivot to name-calling and attempt to change the subject. The sad this is, The Mercury and City Hall coddle these bad behaviors of SOME of the homeless. The problem will never be solved when there are those in power who refuse to accept the reality of the situation.
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