Clean up the streets Portland; realize this is the one town in the northwest where homeless don't have a mat or place to go at night. The money, resources, and space is already there, they are just not being used the way they should or could be. Real giving takes a little time and effort. Write a letter, make a call, or ask a question if and when you donate and ask why the space that is there is not being used. there are plenty of resources in terms of food etc though, this makes a bad combination and results in portland attracting the young crowd that floods the streets and wants to be out there instead of a shelter that in which they can store their bag and go look for work and try to get on their feet etc. The folks who can't do shelters because of addictions are often not the ones soliciting the streets downtown. You don't have to pass all these folks hanging out on the streets treating it like a game and it may even equate to less crime.
its just bullshit that there are multiple organizations receiving millions in donations with huge buildings in downtown Portland yet this remains the one town in the northwest where they've got them living on the dirty sidewalk. Rescue mission does much more than others like UGM or TPI which only help a select few willing to join their programs that simply don't work or make sense for the majority of the people out here but still there is no good reason not to have winter mats year round; the space is there and the mats are there and all it takes is offering someone a bed downstairs to volunteer for an hour to help set them up.
And now the cops are cracking down on people sleeping in the streets telling them they can't sleep there- which would be fine if they had a place to go but they don't. Now they're all forced to congregate in one or two locations and this is creating problems. people who don't want or need to be in close proximity or just don't mix are all crammed into one lousy dirty sidewalk and they're fighting every night, screaming all night long, and even making death threats. The streets of portland are starting to remind me of places like denver LA, dallas, etc...
I know all this because I sleep in it every night- I came back to portland to take a summer class so UO will let me in and the other four or five days a week I'm out working day labor like a horse. I'm sick of this street crowd and know it does not need to be and should not be like this.
plain and simple: PEOPLE GET VIOLENT WHEN THEY LACK A SAFE BED AND PLACE TO BE AT NIGHT. In fact people having a safe place to live with each other and share with each other is usually the difference between homelessness being a healing experience those missions will try to sell you on, and it being a lonely nightmare.
But the Portland PD thinks they're such commendable servicemen for harassing these folks and shuffling them from one sidewalk to the next when they could be going up to missions and asking why everyone is sleeping on the public's sidewalks when the public has already contributed everything needed for them to be off their sidewalks. Lets get real folks- policing people is a business, and like any good business it's not against their best interest to see your streets turned into the likes of other big cities outside the northwest where it's not even safe to walk at night.
Sounds paranoid? Maybe- but seeing the bottom end of a town has a way of being insightful. You can see whats actually going on sometimes see the shit when it's still a seed being planted. And it's my bet that within five years you'll all see it growing and then portland will be just like those other big cities.
Good luck with that Portland, your heart is in the right place but this is what happens when we give blindly; middle men profit, no one gets helped, and your town turns to shit.
As for me I'll be out of here before yall lace up your bootstraps to do anything so this really doesn't concern me especially because I plan on moving to one of those shit big cities eventually anyway. Third time in week I nearly got into a fight (not a regular occurence for me), but everyone is corralled into one spot with not enough room for us all and tempers are flaring.. With no designated safe place to go, I instead went somewhere the public would probably not prefer me to be and found a nice quiet patch of grass. I'll be sleeping there for the next two weeks and I am definitely not the only one. I may not deserve a bed but I deserve a safe place to be at night. to hell with you portland.
ps- funny not an hour after posting this originally i go back to the burnside bridge and its far more packed than i've ever seen it and when i try to take the last spot open someone threatens me with a knife because its next to his 15 yr old daughter. Everyone has been corralled into one location where there is not enough room for them and tempers are flaring- third time in a week I nearly got into a fight which is not a usual occurrence for me. So without a safe designated area to be at night I went somewhere the public probably would prefer me not to be (wasn't the only one neither) and found me a nice patch of quiet grass- I'll be there for at least another week to come:)