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corporate dominance | homelessness

Gentrification Strikes Again

Today as I rode my bicycle thought the Lents neighborhood (an urban renewal neighborhood) I saw the usual sights. Neighbors helping each other clear storm drains, a mass movement of cars coming and going from I-205, and quite a few fellow cyclists. But at approximately 2:45 I rolled past SE 82nd and Foster rd. and saw three patrol cars surrounding the local squat.
I call it a squat because it is the only place that about a dozen of my neighbors have to live, but really it is just a covered sidewalk in front of where the old Safeway used to be and Top to Bottom and a Big Five now inhabit. This area provided a mostly dry area for these good people to sleep, lock up their bikes, and hang out with friends. For the past year that has been the extent of what they have done there. I have never seen any violent activity nor drug use/selling from any of these kind folks. In fact I have never even seen the police called on any of them, EVER.

Today something was different. As the Portland Development Commission or PDC continues their quest for urban renewal they have managed to attract new business to the area. These businesses are looking to benefit from the new light rail train that will run down I-205, the new farmers market, and of course the increased property value a lifeless commercial look brings. One of these interested businesses is Big 5 Sporting Goods. This week is Big 5's Grand Opening.

As I rode my bike past the cop cars and stopped a comfortable distance away to keep an eye on the officers I couldn't help but stand in awe at how quickly gentrification changes the face of a neighborhood. The police had formed a barrier between the consumers that were happily streaming in and out of the new retail establishment and the people whos' very existence our society has declared as illegal.

From what I could see. The cops did not physically attack anyone nor did they make any arrests. However, they did destroy the only home these people knew when they declared that if they returned they would be trespassing.

I offered them food and bus fare, but they were obviously shaken and angry and chose just to get away from the cops, and find a new place to sleep tonight.

How long will it take the people of this city to realize that gentrification is caused by the priority we put on property over people. If the PDC really wants to renew urban areas they should try investing in the people of an area instead of creating playgrounds for consumers that attract already well off people to an area.

Recently, the Portland City Council passed a resolution to set aside 30% of PDC funds for affordable housing. However, I fail to see how any of those people today would have benefited from affordable housing (Which I can't even afford with a job that makes nearly $10 an hour). It is increasingly obvious that the PDC benefits those with money at the expense of those without. The only answer I see is the complete dissolvement of the PDC and more programs like Food Not Bombs that will help benefit a neighborhood through mutual aid.

I still have hope that this city can be saved from corporate interests, and we all can look beyond the spectacle of new retail stores and higher property value before we all lose our homes to a giant city wide mall (which of course would be full of nature and organic stores so as to keep the appearance of being "progressive").

12:45 not 2:45 21.Nov.2006 14:06

[Howl]

Oops, I didn't press the one hard enough, and didn't catch it when I proof read the article.

What?? 21.Nov.2006 15:58

Lent's Property Owner

I fail to see how a homeless person has the right to squat any place they please. You say what about the poor homeless people what about those who should have the right to sit and choose not to work. Why don't we have some sort of social welfare organization that can help these people, oh yea we do and my taxes and your taxes go to help these individuals already why should we allow them to degrade a business that has chosen to come into our neighborhood and provide tax revenue and jobs to a community. These are the things that will help to improve a community. I would like to see more locally owner business's in the area as well however if there is not a financially stable community it will never support local business.

educating dumbfuck "property owners" 21.Nov.2006 17:12

and other class enemies

There aren't enough jobs to go around. There aren't supposed to be. It's called "structural unemployment." No matter how fast everybody runs around kissing your ass, some people won't get a chair when the music stops. On the street is where they end up. The people working for you put up with your shit because those squatters are offering them a visible example of what happens if they don't. Your wealth and their poverty are directly connected.

Just passing through? 21.Nov.2006 17:32

Lent's resident concerned about livability

It would be interesting for me to know if the author of this article actually lives there, because although you mention your neighbors: "it is the only place that about a dozen of my neighbors have to live, but really it is just a covered sidewalk in front of where the old Safeway used to be", I wonder if we don't ultimately share the same concern. I too, am concerned for my neighbors. I am concerned that everyone in my neighborhood, (the Lents urban renewal area), is a new homeowner, proud of making that purchase; of finally having neighbors to cultivate relationships with. I am concerned that many of those neighbors have children who can't readily play in the neighborhood because of the constant trawl by the homeless or otherwise down and out to the Mt. Scott Market to peruse their abundant selection of fortified wine. The very market that somehow doesn't sell bread, or things that haven't expired because the real money is in fortified wine and roses in little tubes to make drug paraphernalia in. I don't feel safe enough to walk down there for bread, so why should they stock it. I am concerned that my husband can't leave any tools in the yard in the time it takes to come in and get a glass of water because they will likely be stolen and sold to one of the multiple pawn shops in Lents. I am concerned that I can't support the local economy in Lents because there is no where I can go where I am not panhandled. This requires me to travel out of the immediate area, generally by car, when in all the neighborhoods I lived in before, I preferred to walk. I am concerned that I refuse to take the #14 home even though it is closer than the #10 because it isn't safe. I make that determination after seeing, on multiple occasions, homeless persons heckling children waiting at the light to cross Foster Rd. and on one occasion, harassing runners on the Hood to Coast Run. I am concerned that every, single, morning I go to work, there are no less than 10 persons making quite a commotion behind the Hing Ming Market on 83rd and Foster. Not a peaceful camp or a refuge from a storm, but a giant mess of debris, things that I would be embarrassed for my kids to see, and damage to the fences of the homes surrounding that lot. The author says that: "How long will it take the people of this city to realize that gentrification is caused by the priority we put on property over people. If the PDC really wants to renew urban areas they should try investing in the people of an area instead of creating playgrounds for consumers that attract already well off people to an area.", and I agree with investing in the people of an area. And as a property owner who has come from nothing had to work quite hard to get that property, I would like to feel safe and as though I can be apart of my neighborhood. While I don't agree with everything the PDC does, I feel that this is our chance to make the neighborhood liveable and safe. We aren't asking for a Starbucks and a Whole Foods. We are simply in need of basic things other neighborhoods already have. Safe parks. Businesses we can utilize. Not camps of people, a majority of which are not just looking for some respite from the rain. That's why I wonder if you live there.

think 21.Nov.2006 19:18

out of the box

"I am concerned that I can't support the local economy in Lents because there is no where I can go where I am not panhandled"

you are panhandled in your mailbox, you are panhandled on the radio, you are panhandled on the television and by signs on the road that you read as you drive your car to another area to shop....but irrespective of those forms of panhandling, try getting out of your fear box

either learn to feel comfortable saying a polite "no" to panhandlers and simply offering a heartfelt "hello" as you pass - or keep a nickel, dime or quarter in your pocket. when you are asked for spare change, give your daily coin with a smile. when the next pandhandler comes along that day, say - I already gave today but how is your day going? you can choose to stop and have a brief conversation, or say it in passing. over time, you would learn that if something happened to you, it would be those "panhandlers" that would come to your aid.

think of a nickel a day, a mere buck fifty a month, a dime a day - a whole three dollars and a quarter would set you back $7.50

your alternative to getting to know your neighbors, whether they live in a house or are squatters is to hide in your home and escape in your car like you currently do - doesn't sound like much of a life. create a bridge, not a wall.

you mentioned you have seen homeless people heckling children and I would ask...exactly what did you do in that situation? did you view it and go hide in your house? did you confront them peacefully about their actions? exactly what did you do?

i have one more question for you - when was the last time (if any) you were actually threatened you with physical harm?

Give and take 21.Nov.2006 19:27

Chuck

No one to see wants to see despair in their own back yard. I know it is tough to look at these folks day in and day out. I know that it is far to easy to come to resent them for their failings. If the business community would come together to help out they could change some things. There may be jobs, but many of those folks may be unemployable due to more reasons than I care to go into. Give a helping hand, and do what you can for them. It could be any one of you in that spot someday.

Turn Up The Heat & Lock The Door 21.Nov.2006 19:31

Joe Anybody iam@joe-anybody.com

To Lent's resident concerned about livability: (And the selfish business owner)

I read your long list of WHAT YOU WANT (beings you are a .....business owner or a ......."HOME OWNER") ..that means Mr Lents ...you actually own your own home ...COOL ...wow! you got a house and you want it to be a nice place and a nice safe neighborhood with bread at the local store and a warm safe bus rides to-n-fro! Are you the cock of the walk? .......WOW and you are such a special gift to the Lents Community too! You both are sooooooooo Righteous! ...wow!

You talk of homeless people like they are discarded un-needed garbage.
You speak of not wanting to see pan handlers (hell I see 1 dozen a day every day of my life) I give when I can and don't when I cant. I make less than 27,000 a yr and am a single dad. I can barley pay for the house I OWN too! wow ...lucky me! Ya well I feel like shit ....owning my home while others are homeless..... hell I hate it so much I might turn it into a 1/2 way house....BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT PEOPLE. I smile at the homeless.....and stop and chat when I get a moment...I share my food and my car and my money....BECAUSE I CARE about homelessness and people and Life!

I also don't hide my kid from this element ....he comes with me to help ...he gives his own food and pocket change when he can to help OTHER PEOPLE. I expose him and we talk and we work to make life better for all of us .....I am teaching him to not be SELFISH like you two posters are evidently bitching about

To me Mr "Lents resident" you sound like a selfish assholes! So does the selfish property owner who posted his triad about why should his taxes have to help these people. I think you both need a little compassion and understanding. But you spend your energy bitching and being selfish. You both seem to be the very type that would call the cops on a homeless person. Hell get off your HIGH HORSE and help a man or woman. When you stand before your maker I hope you remember how you "spoke up" to put people down. How you spoke up to "screw the poor" how you stood up to have the "Homeless removed from your beautiful neighborhood" I hope you feel good about "Your Profits" and your kids being sheltered from "Poor People" I hope you feel all perfect and proper in your egotistic selfish hateful ways.

Tonight when it seems a little cold ....crank your thermostat up a degree and laugh your selfish head off ......because in your hate - filled - heart you could care less about your neighbor or the poor or the needy.

Offer one a job ...... talk and find out what their needs are. Assist in some positive change to make your neighborhood better. Hell if it gets any colder or worse conditions imagine what the desperate may have to do next. So better lock your door and bitch to your self .....I don't want to hear your selfish complaining. I only wish i knew what business you worked at so I could make sure I didn't spend any money on your HATEFULL services or products.

You mention that you don't want a Starbucks .....just simply .....SIMPLE WHAT?
I want you to SIMPLY care for PEOPLE ...what an ass you are ....its all about what "YOU" want and it does not include ONE FUCKING thing about humans or the poor. Its all about your selfish perfect world. "People before Property" Where do you get off thinking a homeless person needs a "RIGHT" to squat. Hell they can squat anywhere they want. And I am helping them at any chance I get. They have no home ....so where can they stop or rest? Are you willing to help work for resolutions ...or just bitch and whine? For 10 seconds ......think about what or where you would go IF YOU WERE HOMELESS and had no money or job.........FOR 10 SECONDS .....think about if that was you. (then cross your fingers)

The more I think about this the more spiteful I get. I can barley pay my own way and my own bills ...but I still care about people I still help those that are less unfortunate.
The only way I can help 'you two selfish ass holes who posted' ... is to say this to you in hopes you Wake Up and forget about your self's for a day or a minute and care about your fellow neighbor or brothers. Try working "positively" to make good wholesome change and find some compassion in your heart of greed (as you turn up the thermostat)Do something to help or encourage in a positive way to end hunger and homelessness. Do something to help those who for many, many, many reason are homeless and beaten down. Do something to make "your community" or "your kids" proud of you. I am sickened by your utter selfishness. How embarrassing to Humanity!

Remember this .....I too have all you do .....I am similar in that I work and pay my way and my taxes...... But I ......Unlike you too.......CARE ........about human life.......and I ...........work for the positive well-being of all humans........I don't just care about my own business and family.........I care about people who need LOVE

I really want to cuss you two out ....but will save that for a latter day .....when the ones that have it all wage "their police state" war against the poor and homeless and when I am face to face to that ugly day ....there will be no "Cant we all get along"

Meanwhile I suggest "LOCK your doors and turn up the heat" ....some people are getting desperate and pretty pissed off out here in the wet cold make shift shelter in your own beautiful neighborhood......don't like it ?????? Fuck Off!

Thanks for the article "Howl"


Can you spare a dime (bag) 21.Nov.2006 20:03

From The Streets

Now I am going to open this saying I know not everyone one the streets is addicted to drugs and alcohol, however you would be naive to suggest that this is not a prevalent problem amongst the homeless community. So for your nickel a day what do you get? Mabey a nickel towards a nickel bag. Really there are organizations you can donate your money to and that individuals that are in real need can go to and receive the help they need. I am saying this from the perspective of an individual that has lived that life the drugs on the streets and know from experience what that money brings. So next time you offer change do the guy a real favor and buy him a bottle cause that will be extending a real helping hand. Or possible after he gets turned down and realizes that he will need to work to provide for himself he will make those changes.

Offer a bottle? 21.Nov.2006 21:33

hmmm...

How does offering a bottle extend a real helping hand? I liked everything you said up until then.

Also, I would like to hear what are the best orgs to donate to? I don't like turning a panhandler down if I don't know that they won't use the money for addictive substances, which I don't want to support. But I would like to provide some financial support to an organization that does provide food and shelter to whoever wants it, no religion attached. Suggestions?

Sisters of the Road - Food Not Bombs - are 2 that come to mind 22.Nov.2006 00:56

Joe Anybody

 http://www.streetroots.org/index.php
Street roots has a center section of their newspaper that is FULL of good people helping with hunger and homelesness is called The Rose City Resource
(a good source of organizations and contact information)

I didnt see that section in their online version of streetroots


:-)

not so simple 22.Nov.2006 01:29

st

The comment of "and other class enemies", spells out part of the situation resulting in homelessness for at least some people pretty well. Can-do people, and some who haven't ever experienced the road that spirals only downward, often can't begin to grasp the seeming inevitability of homelessness that happens.

I also see the perspective of "Lent's resident concerned about livability" with a certain respect. No matter how great it would be if it were true, a lot of people will automatically be wary and uncomfortable when confronted by people aparrently way different then they are. It takes time to get over that, and even then it can be intimidating. Generalization isn't helpful here, but then it's really hard to specify too. Meek, young suburban mothers with kiddies coming up against the often ever changing cast of homeless people is not a scenario that promises a happy neighborhood.

Homelessness is certainly not a situation that should be encouraged for many people. Where it does coincidentally occur, as in the example cited, there are probably ways to handle it sensitively with regards to all parties. Moreso at least, then simply having the police show up one day, and telling homeless people to move on.

Yes, I am a resident of Lents 22.Nov.2006 09:08

[Howl]

To "Lent's resident concerned about livability:"
Yes, I have lived in the Lents neighborhood for about 10 years. I grew up here in a working class family. My mother, unable to afford her mortgage was forced to sell my childhood home. She and I currently rent seperate properties in Lents.

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I think it is really important to have a dialogue like this.

I really like the ideas of donating to the many great organizations listed above. However, I believe this is only half of the battle. As the PDC continues to put many families in desperate situations I feel we must address the source of the problem as well. We must start addressing the reality of the policies that urban renewal creates. I too would love a vibrant livable town center in Lents, but we have to be aware of the side effects of the decisions we make now.

what next? 22.Nov.2006 10:17

I live here too

lets face it . As long as we continue to bicker among ourselves,no real change will happen. In realty the Lents neighborhood homeowners/renters is made up of working poor, just one paycheck away from homelesssness.Many struggle to pay basic bills,buy food,bus tickets, etc.. I mean come on, lets get real,this is not the swanky NW neiborhood we are talking about. Chances are we all shop at the same stores,ride the same busses,see each others kids at the park,pass each other by on the sidewalk..we are infact,in this together !!
My question is, why do we steel from each others yards, break windows of cars that transport us to lowpaying jobs (that I am greatful for), leave used syringes on the sidewalk in front of houses with children,dig though trash cans leaving trash scatered throughout, OR pass each other by without a glance,an offer of spare change,a smile,a offer of clothes,or kind words.
The real change will not come from gentrification,although I welcome it! It will not come from shuffling homeless men and women from their makeshift homes,and It will most certainly not come from bickering,name calling,and assumtion making. Lets stop fighting with each other and start looking towards solution. We can start with ourselves and our families. When we destroy our own community physically and emotionally,we are just proving to ourselves and others that we don't care.
Since my move to lents,I have had several thing stollen from my yard including a tarp used to keep my wood dry,my only sorce of heat. A broken car window, that will continue to be covered with a trash bag back in forth to work,and school all winter. To say I am discouraged is a understatement..

new perspective 22.Nov.2006 12:31

homeowner, mother, sister and student

My brother is a 7-year resident of Portland-more recently Lents.He is homeless. He was a young, vivacious and very full of life person. He is now a drug-addicted shell of man. I am familiar with some of his friends (also homeless).

My family lives, shops, plays and supports Lents. We reach out to fellow neighbors by giving and doing what we can. I am not opposed to finding ways to help the homeless. Finding a way to help my brother. What I am opposed to is being angry at the residents that don't feel comfortable having, people like my brother, in their neighborhoods, backyards and where they allow their children to play. You see, my brother and his friends are trying to survive. My brother needs to feed his oxycontin habit. He steals from whoever he can...you, me, your neighbor, my neighbor, the small business etc...
He calls our family with I-pods, cameras, games consoles and LOTS of other belongings he's trying to sell. While I will probably never turn my brother in for stealing, I won't buy his stolen stuff. I know it belonged to someone here in Lents.

It seems pointless to get upset at residents that only want to live in a safe environment. There are many organizations that could use your "passion" to their benefit. If you want to see low income people living comfortable and warm, try and join the fight with PORTLAND IMPACT. This organization helps those in our community that face financial and sometimes physical challenges. Instead of giving money to homeless, lets arm them with resources and information to get them out of their situation...lets prevent homelessness.

Back to original argument of gentrification...displacing people that can no longer afford to live in a particlar area/neighborhood does seem rather harsh. However, it has been happening for years, in all parts of the United States. I still get angry when I go back to Hawaii and see my friends and family living in an ALMOST shack because they can no longer afford their ridiculous rent. So instead of fighting among residents that care and want a liveable LENTS, lets ban together and figure out a way to keep our neighborhoods safe. If that means you fight for the rights of homeless then spectacular...give me my right to fight for cleaniless and safety for my family. If that means disagreeing with you...then be it.

HOWL...here are some great websites that can HELP you HELP the homeless.
www.portlandimpact.org
www.outofthedoorways.org
www.portlandonline/police (click on GET INVOLVED)

Maybe start a LENTS door to door collection of coats and hygiene products. I bet we would all be amazed at the support our neighbors have.
There are MANY churches that need help feeding the homeless. Give your time or donations.

Signed,
A homeowner, mother, sister and student of LENTS

Understanding The Dynamics will Help 22.Nov.2006 13:13

Joe Anybody iam@joe-anybody.com

Just wondering if your 'wood tarp' might of been procured to keep an actual body 1/2 ass warm or dry through the night. Sorry it was "your tarp" and the person who took it had no right. I don't condone stealing!

But it surrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre is cold and windy outside.

The "working together concept" is the only possible way to resolve the sever impact this issue has on everyone. The dynamics of the HAVES & the HAVENOTS. Many of the disrespectful ways that the homeless or the "ones on the streets" behave "could be from" the many ....MANY social and mental and psychological and stressful mindsets and baggage that these people are coping or dealing with (see link at bottom of this post) ......and yes I hate to say it....

BUT --> some cant do it ......some can't maintain at all WITHOUT RESOURCES and HELP. This is where the community steps up. Not everyone is perfect. Many of these disrespectful don't have the skills or tools needed. The society today doesn't encourage much positive reinforcements that would make life better for all of us as a collective. Some of the very same issues mentioned in the Lents area happen across the city in all kinds of neighborhoods.....trash left.....stolen property from yards and cars, sleeping in makeshift shanties etc.

Working to resolve these issues and providing support and positive ways to provide for the community "at large" should be the focus. Get up - Get Out - Get to know - And fix the situation through COMMUNITY support.
(and individual too)

I suggest taking on an ACTIVE "personal" effort to resolve issue PEACEFULLY and respectfully.

I must say living outside is VERY HARD TO DO
If you have nothing - then you simple have nothing to work with.
It is helpless and hopeless.

I am sorry that the poor and homeless are viewed or treated disrespectfully.
As well I am sorry your world is affected by their misfortunes in that it does directly effect you in one way or another, beside just the sight of the homeless!

Help is needed and answers are possible......but "understanding" the dire straits and the reality of the dynamics is also very critical if YOU WANT TO REALLY MAKE CHANGES
I suggest one person at a time being treated with love, respect, and provide a little hope to help ......Listen ......talk ......understand........and become ACTIVE for positive change

Sorry for venting in my yesterday post

And Ironically in the front page of the Oregonian Sunday Edition (11-19-06) is an articled on the subject of the failing mental health services: I think this link is the same article I seen on the front page>>
 link to www.oregonlive.com

Also this one is interesting as well>>
 link to www.oregonlive.com

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
MAKE A BETTER WORLD BY YOUR INVOLVENMENT
~joe anybody


what about me? 22.Nov.2006 16:41

no,what about community

wouldn't you agree that the "I need this more than they do" attitude is damaging at every level of society. My "wood tarp" gos far beyond a cover for my yule log. It represent the only warmth I can provide for my family this winter,if the wood gets soaked,I can not light a fire,any additional money for another tarp just doesent exist,and I pray the wood makes it through the wet winter. Is their need to stay warm more vital than my childrens?? The sad part is, If they would have asked, I would have cut it is half to make TWO..two usefull items for two people equally in need. You see, the working poor plight is not a visible as the homeless,but it is still there. gilt tripping us into helping is not going to do the trick because we are basically super tired. Just because we don't stand on the coner with a sign,doesnt me we don't have our personal cardboard tragety.the heartache that come along when you are sick,no health insurance,and no way to take a day off to stand in line at outside in because that means less money come paycheck time,meaning not enough for food,meds,mortgage.
I don't wake up in the morning and take my neighbors car to work, because after all,I need it more than they do right?? We carpool. providing something for both. that is what a community is about. I invite the homeless to be apart of our "community" and I do not expect more from them than I do from my family and home blessed neighbors. I admire your desire to do good, and like the "new perspective" person said,if you asked the residents to donate,we would happily even though our home a humble and most have every little . But to rant and rave and say we are selfish home owners,that just makes us tired and far from receptive.
My favorite post so far came from "new perspective" her post was very kind and insightful. I belive most people who feel angry and unpset are far from selfish money grubbing misers who look for every opportunity to spit on thoes who sully up the pretty things in life. Most are looking for a real change and get sick and tired of being told we do not do enough,and we otte to be ashamed! Give us oppertunty to help,and we will.Tell us we should stop acting selfish and do more,and YOU create a community barrier.

AS A SIDE NOTE: several years ago I lived near a church who feed the homeless each day at 5pm,My husband,my young kids and I were on first name basis with many,and most I saw each night.They were like my neighbors. They came each night but never left trash or destroyd property, they treated that small corner of a hectic back east city like their neighborhood and they understood the impact they had. They educated the new comers of common courtesy involved in being part of a society..picking up after yourself, acting courteous, they would even help me with my groceries at times..thats right a whole community that included them and my humbble family,the church,the people across the street.Even with many years on the street many understood common courtesy. Many miles later I find Portland,I love it here .But something is different, there is lots of anger and dissrepect on BOTH sides of the spectrum. I truely welcome them to our community but ask for respect from them as well...not a guilt trip.

Anyone interested in forming a mutual aid network? 22.Nov.2006 17:58

[Howl] lentsmutualaid@yahoo.com

It sounds like there are a lot of available resources, but not all are well known in the community. I just made an email address  lentsmutualaid@yahoo.com if anyone is interested in networking the available resources we have here.

Perhaps you can donate a few bucks, expired but edible food, an old coat, some extra space in your garage, a meeting space, or a few hours of time to volunteer each week. Imagine if we made a flier with all the resources that are already available from lunch programs like Food Not Bombs to drug treatment programs. We could then look to see where are neighborhood is lacking and work to fill the cracks before more people fall through them.

With it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, and more holidays on the way. Try to think how you could help out our neighborhood however big or small the contribution might be.

By the way, I have an 8'x8' tarp you can have. It spent some weeks out in the woods with me, but it's in good shape. Just email me.

I feel the Howl of people working to make Positive Change 22.Nov.2006 18:10

Ben Waiting

damn Howl ...........you trying to make some changes or what?

You Rock!

Nice Attitude

Love the sharing aspect and the organizing information idea

Just Do It!!!!!- Nike 22.Nov.2006 18:49

Joe anybody, aka Micheal

I appreciate everyone who posted to this site. Your energy and passion for making Lents a safer, healthier community is encouraging. I agree with guy how wants to turn his house into a halfway house, Do it. Stop yapping. Make a change. Get of this site and stop posting garbage. Join me in cleaning up my part of the nieghborhood, being conciderate to homeless loving your neighbor and all that crap but stop posting to this weak ass site and go out and make the change.

Lame ass winers

Totally different economy needed 23.Nov.2006 11:02

Portlander

While there seems to be no money to house and feed the homeless in government coffers, there does seem to be plenty of money in Portland and Oregon to subsidize--by the millions and billions, literally-- new houses for the rich and upper middle class and to subsidize huge corporations.

I'm talking first about the subsidies that go to developers and new house owners to feed "inevitable" growth. In the downtown core, we have the South Waterfront boondoggle. Close to $60 million for the tram running from OHSU to buildings owned by doctors (not the hospital), developer Homer Williams, other speculators, and new rich condo dwellers. But, gosh, now there's not enough money to build the transit these wealthy folks "need" to get around. So what do we do? Soak the Portland property taxpayer, of course!

Then there are the endless Urban Growth Boundary expansions made to accommodate the developers who "need" more land to make way for the "inevitable" 1 million more residents supposedly pounding at the gates to come pouring in. But, wait! There's no money to build the roads, provide the electricity, the gas, sewage, fire stations, schools, libraries, loss of natural resources, and other governmental services for these new developments out in the countryside of east Clackamas County. And because of that, damn, the property owners who are itching to retire can't sell and the developers can't build, because they sure as hell aren't gonna pay for these services, and of course the new house owners sure as hell "shouldn't" have to pay for the full costs of their new houses. And if that happens, then those one million more residents wont' come pouring in as the corporations and developers have been counting on having happen. And then what will happen? Why, our economy won't grow, meaning, the rich won't get richer, the poor won't get poorer, and if that's the case, then civilization as we know it just won't be the same.

So, if you want to see the end of homelessness and poverty, then the growth-dependent economy must come to an end. The first thing to do is the sto the subsidies. Say no to the coming request for subsidizing the Urban Growth Boundary expansion in Damascus and yes to housing and feeding the poor!

liveability? 23.Nov.2006 17:07

or a gated community where everybody is just like you

> I am concerned that everyone in my neighborhood is a new homeowner

Got it, everybody? The petty-bourgeois mortgagee "landowners" don't just want to get rid of homeless people, by whatever means are convenient, they want to "move along" the renters as well. Guess what? Portland is a CITY! At least take your fascism out out to the suburbs. That's what they're for.

howling mad 23.Nov.2006 23:26

contented omnivore

howl states:" gentrification is caused by the priority we put on property over people "

come again? you mean gentrification as in we prioritize ones right to buy and control private real estate as more important than the right to willy nilly use as convenient by any passer by, which property we should have (tax backed) bought for the indigent so as to prevent the gentry from obtaining privately?

I sall b.s. this is not even common sense

I can see it, save the squats, a fund to raise the price so high that gentrification is stopped cold in its inhumane tracks.

Meanwhile.....no one holds the squat accoutable and presto its inhabitants spiral to the lowest level of social responisbility, hate themselves but don't realize/admit it (they know shiting in a nest is wrong, there is just no way in p.c. they are going to be "adjusted" to those nasty inperialist norms of the oppressor, like keeping the toilets running....picking up the trash. Ex squaters who get to work for a roof OF THEIR OWN and can loose it for asocial upkeep are a different breed.

But some prefer the bohemian life, as some prefer the junkie life to sobriety. give them the ritz and in weeks its only worth a bulldozer.

Society and its programs must discriminate, its the only effective way of helping those who can get out of the streets. Triage in medical circles, budgetary restraints in social services.

And yes the taxpayer calls the pipers tuns.

Are you kidding me? 24.Nov.2006 22:29

Jiffroi

There is approximately $12 trillion in the current domestic US economy. Why don't you figure out some sort of way to get a small piece of it? There is, I'm afraid, lots to go around. Right now we have what, a 5-6% unemployment rate? That is pretty damn good! When I was in Europe, Germany and France currently face nearly a 20% unemployment rate - and they are both socially-democratic nations (read: welfare states). While I'm all for social democracy, we certainly don't have it badly here in Portland.

Also, since when in the history of the US are you allowed to squat on someone's property? Why would someone who works hard to earn money for a house want to allow anyone outside of their friends/family to squat on their land???

In response to people in fear. 24.Nov.2006 23:16

Outer SE resident

Response to "Lent's resident concerned about livability".

I have been living in 82nd/Foster area for awhile now and homeowner. I have never experienced anything to the degree you have described. Th 14 bus is completely safe, I have never had any issues on that bus. Afriad to walk or ride your bike, are you kinding me. Everybody in my house has no problems riding, actually only problem has been car drivers out here throwing stuff at bikers.

The real problem is building owners buying buildings and letting them fall into dis-repair while they wait for urban-renewal. How about we just start taking those buildings over and creating a safe space off the streets for these people so they can have a stepping stone or just a place to rest there heads.

Just my two cents, I'm tired of people watching messed up shows like "COPS" and becoming so freaked out they can't leave their house.

Who wants to start a outer SE Food not Bombs?? Who's doing anything? Tired of having problems pointed out and nobody stepping up.

Lift them up, don't drag everyone down 25.Nov.2006 16:10

Another Lents resident

Quit blaming PDC for all the ills of our society - homelessness, poverty, drugs, crime, etc. These all pre-date the PDC by a long shot. If we want to do something to help the socio-economic conditions of our people, both homeless and working class, we should pass legislation to cap corporate executive salaries. It's ridiculous that our nation allows corporations to pay their CEO's millions of dollars in annual salary and benefits, whilst paying their workers a pitiful, inadequate minimum wage. Worse yet is that the latest way these executives are stuffing their coffers is by outsourcing our inadequate, minimum wage jobs to Asia and Mexico where the laws aren't even so generous.

Next, blame our government once again for not collecting enough taxes of these corporate assholes to pay the true social and economic costs of lost jobs, low pay, no health insurance, etc. We should legislate huge tax penalties to those who earn more than so much a year, or so many times the minimum wage workers. Hmmm, wonder if that might work to boost minimum wages?

Finally, demand some responsibility of these homeless people. I am in no position to understand how they came to be homeless, but I can question why a homeless person refused a loaf of bread that my friend offered to them. Heck, I'm not even homeless and destitute and I won't turn down free food. I'm guessing this same person would pass up a job, too.

For the Lents woman who has the drug-addicted brother, please turn him in to the police for his thieving. I got my house broken into last week, perhaps you've seen a Dell laptop lately? If so, I'd love to get it back and retrieve some years of blood, sweat, and tears - I work hard to make a living. Thanks.

Missing Laptop 26.Nov.2006 12:06

homeowner, mother, sister and student

That is such a shame that someone stole your computer. I know how much everyone has come to rely on them. Mine is full of schoolwork and family photos. I would freak-out if it was stolen. I hope you recover yours.

My brother has been hospitalized for over 2 weeks. So I know he was not the one stealing in Lents last week. There are MANY thieves that target Lents. Even if it's small lawn ornaments, I think we should REPORT each and every theft. It's important for the police to know that it is a problem. I hope to see better community policing here in Lents. That means participation from police officers and our citizens. I dont want to turn this into a "what you could do lecture" but there are a few ideas that can help all of us with theft and burglaries.
*Know your neighbors (the more eyes and ears watching your house the better)
*Get out and take walks around the neighborhood (mischief hates to be seen)
*Have all of your important emergency and non-emergency numbers handy
*Dont be afraid to report "questionable" situations-it may save someones computer from being
stolen!

Sorry again my friend for your recent break-in.

Respect is a two-way street 29.Nov.2006 06:53

Sixpack wabc@mutualaid.org

There are so many points of view that I agree with on both sides of the fence, and just the fact that people are hashing it out and thinking for themselves is encouraging for me. I'd just like to comment that my father, when he was alive, was homeless for the 24 years he was alone after us kids grew up and left on our own. He was a self-proclaimed alcoholic from age 10 with a third grade education, a felon, with lung cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. Sounds kind of unemployable, doesn't he?

He pitched his own homeless tent made of scraps and stuff, way out in Washington park, where most people don't hike out to. He kept reasonably clean and walked into town to a local temp labor office and worked a day here or there as needed. He often said "there are too many food lines in Portland for anybody to go hungry for too long". He harvested mushrooms in the fall and sold them to Asian delis, whatever he had to do, but he didn't steal, and never panhandled. He was never disrespectful to anyone, and never abused the courtesy when people didn't call the police and have him removed. They didn't do this because he didn't make a nuisance out of himself by leaving messes and being rude to others. He did not seem like a threat to other people or their children. He died a free man at the age of 68 in 2003.

My point is that homelessness isn't a crime and neither is being poor. But then these situations are not an acceptable excuse to be rude, not clean oneself up and leave messes for everyone else to deal with. These are also not acceptable excuses to look down on anybody else because they are not living their lives the way we think they should, or the way we do. It seems to me that there is a lack of respect for each other from both sides that fuels this debate. All the social services in the world won't change a thing if we can't see that we are all human beings with feelings, needs and the right to live and die as we choose.

The choices we make will either make or break us. The only issue here is each persons definition of "broken".

Just because the system is broken, doesn't mean that we all have to be broken as well.

That's all I got.

http://wabc.mahost.org
Southeast Portland

Alright! 04.Dec.2006 20:20

Ronjon

This is an inspiring thread - I rarely see antagonism turn to support for each other in such a short time. There are a lot of practical, positive ideas here, and people getting up to act.

So, first - could (and WOULD!) anyone (indoor or outdoor residents) in the Lents area use a decent bike (and a nice kryptonite lock) to help reduce the costs of transportation, or to get a chance to move around a little more and possibly become more productive? I dont have bike in my home to give away, but will be working with biking organizations who get bikes together for low-income folks, and help them use and maintain them regularly. Many people cannot commute by bike because of time, distance, or physical inability. But it is my suspicion that many people dont realize how easy it could be.

Next - with the extra free time i have come upon, I am going to put myself to work. Does anyone know about Outside In (services for homeless youth) and if they are an effective organization?? I definitely like to distribute food, and have done so ocassionally with leftovers. But food is only part of the solution, I dont want anyone getting too comfortable being fed and not doing anything about it (if they can). Regardless, there is an info session for Outside In: Dec. 6th, 6:00 - 7:30pm, 1132 SW 13th, main building, in the basement conference room. Hopefully i will find some of you there.

Email me:  rdatta81@hotmail.com

cool

sidetrak - does anyone know the quote given at the end of friday's KBOO newscast by AnaLisa Humel? it was a simple clever line about optomism, and should be posted on every thread!