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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 1:24 AM
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Portland homeless situation

Portland and other west coast urbanites how bad is this for you? Why can't we do anything about it, is it political? West coast weather? Lack of mental health treatment? A little of all of the above.




Columbia Sportswear may close Portland office over death threats, public defecation by homeless people


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Columbia Sportswear may be the next business to flee downtown Portland after a series of frightening encounters with the city's homeless population, including car break-ins, human waste dumped by the office's front door and threats to its employees.

In an op-ed piece published earlier this month by The Oregonian, Columbia Sportswear President and CEO Tim Boyle said he is concerned he made a mistake when he opened a headquarters for the company’s Sorel footwear brand downtown, calling the situation "outrageous and unacceptable."

"In fact, I am so concerned about the safety of our employees at the Sorel headquarters that we are taking the next 90 days to re-evaluate our location decision," Boyle wrote.

Since moving the 50 employees downtown, workers immediately reported being harassed and threatened by homeless individuals near the new offices.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/27...ss-people.html
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 2:22 AM
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I work downtown, I have a hard time believing the situation for this guy's employees is that dangerous. Maybe these things happened, (but honestly who leaves a laptop out in their car, that's just asking for theft no matter where you are). The homeless situation has worsened, and there's no easy remedy since there are multiple causes - rising housing costs, insufficient mental health programs, etc. It's very sad. But I never feel unsafe downtown, although maybe I'm just in the right places at the right times. I think the actual crime stats for dt are very very low.

But perception is important. And since Portland can't enforce against panhandling, (the courts strike them down as unconstitutional against free speech) or lying down on sidewalks, (discrimination against the homeless since there isn't a shelter bed for every single homeless individual)... we have visible homeless in high traffic areas. I interact with tourists a lot in my job, and there are some comments here and there about the issue, but it's not a major detraction. The mayor is saying there are more shelter beds than ever this year, but it takes a whole collaboration in our communities to deal with the many root causes.

I'll add that while there are plenty of legitimately struggling homeless, there is also a segment of younger, traveling street kids that just hang out and literally don't want the services that are available.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 2:32 AM
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Just noticing the LA job thread, which brought to mind that the unemployment rate in Portland is about 4%. There are not enough people to fill positions in pretty much any industry. So despite a booming economy the homeless situation worsens, which hasn't typically been the case -- homelessness is usually associated with recessions. Sounds to me like more support for mental health, drug treatment, affordable housing and job training is the way to go, rather than $1.4 trillion in tax cuts for large corporations. Exacerbating the gulf between rich and poor is not going to solve this problem.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 2:52 AM
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Originally Posted by downtownpdx View Post
Just noticing the LA job thread, which brought to mind that the unemployment rate in Portland is about 4%. There are not enough people to fill positions in pretty much any industry. So despite a booming economy the homeless situation worsens, which hasn't typically been the case -- homelessness is usually associated with recessions. Sounds to me like more support for mental health, drug treatment, affordable housing and job training is the way to go, rather than $1.4 trillion in tax cuts for large corporations. Exacerbating the gulf between rich and poor is not going to solve this problem.
I read that the city club had spent some time studying this and had put together a pretty comprehensive report. It seems to be getting a lot of attention locally. But this being Portland, the workers' paradise.....

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Portland, OR – A study originally commissioned by the City Club of Portland has been released, but not by City Club.

Last December, Willamette Week reports City Club put together a committee to look at Oregon’s addiction service offerings. The committee met regularly, and turned in their report in July. But that report was never released.

According to WW, on November 10th, City Club members received a letter from President Lisa Watson, explaining why City Club was not going to release the report.

“As part of the Board of Governors’ standard review of the research process, it came to our attention that every member of the committee was white,” Watson said.

“While we have no doubt that the committee members entered into this research project in good faith and with all best intentions, it’s clear that an all-white committee makes our research vulnerable to significant and substantive racial bias.”

Members of committee felt the report needed to be released anyway, and did so Tuesday, November 14th. Click here to read the full study.
http://www.kxl.com/addiction-study-r...lub-says-wont/

The report:
https://stateofreform.com/wp-content...-Recovery3.pdf

I contend that legal weed in addition to the absence of deadly-cold winter weather attracts people who value the effects of drugs over sturdy shelter. Add those to the ranks of the ones who are homeless due to being mentally ill, have them compete for space and resources, and there you go.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 5:48 AM
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Portland's problem might be worse than Seattle's (or worse per capita), but the issues are similar. At the core, we don't crack down enough on bad behavior. The lack of funding for services and shelters is also a big component.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 7:00 AM
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Originally Posted by SLO View Post
Portland and other west coast urbanites how bad is this for you? Why can't we do anything about it, is it political? West coast weather? Lack of mental health treatment? A little of all of the above.
I suspect San Francisco is in competition for the worst case of this problem.


http://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uplo...AL-6.21.17.pdf

But these persons aren't simply homeless. Many of them are mentally ill and/or severely substance abusing. And also they are anti-social in their attitude and behavior. Possibly this is a manifestation of resentment toward society and the housed because of their condition. I can't say, but it is manifested as breaking all manner of laws and rules about public behavior in ways that aren't actually necessary fromdefecating in the middle of busy streets in mid-afternoon (there are plenty of secluded places they could do this) to sprawling on busy sidewalks shooting up to blocking those sidewalks with tents and other camping gear such that they are impassable, forcing even the disabled into the street to get around them.

Why can't we do anything about it is the question of the year.

Quote:
Despite money and effort, homelessness in SF as bad as ever
By Heather KnightJune 26, 2017 Updated: September 7, 2017 1:24pm

On the face of it, San Francisco’s homeless problem should have improved dramatically over the past year.

After all, last summer Mayor Ed Lee formed the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing to focus on the city’s most perplexing problem.

The city spent $275 million on homelessness and supportive housing in the fiscal year that ends Friday, up from $241 million the year before. Starting Saturday, that annual spending is projected to hit an eye-popping $305 million.

Public Works cleanup crews were busier than ever, picking up more than 679 tons of trash from homeless tent camps since June 1, 2016, and collecting more than 100,000 used syringes from the camps in that time span.

But, despite all the money and effort, reality on the streets hasn’t improved. In many ways, homelessness in San Francisco is as bad as ever . . . .
http://www.sfchronicle.com/aboutsfga...d-11242946.php

Think of that: $305 million/7499 = $40,672 spent per homeless person per year . . . and yet, the problem "is as bad as ever". I'd say worse than I've ever seen it in 35 years.

That the city spends $40,000 of each of these people every year suggests they could easily rent a studio apartment for each of them and voila! No more homeless IF simply not having a home were actually the problem. But it clearly isn't.

Niether is a lack of mental health treatment. San Francisco may be one of the few cities in the US that runs an extensive system of public neighborhood health centers whose services include mental health care such as supplying the mentally ill with needed medication as well as other forms of therapy: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/comupg/ose...ntalHlth/CBHS/

I would argue San Francisco does everything the law allows to help the homeless but what it doesn't do is enforce any sort of standard of public behavior. There are laws against lying on sidewalks, obstructing sidewalks, use of many drugs favored by the homeless, indecent exposure (I once witnessed a homeless man strip completely naked in McDonald's dining room), obscene public behavior including defecation and so on. But there is absolutely no will to enforce them, either by the police or by the district attorney.

Most San Franciscans have just gotten used to all this and walk by acting as if nothing is worth notice or surprising. It's just the way things are and nothing is likely to change it.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 7:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
I suspect San Francisco is in competition for the worst case of this problem.


http://hsh.sfgov.org/wp-content/uplo...AL-6.21.17.pdf

But these persons aren't simply homeless. Many of them are mentally ill and/or severely substance abusing. And also they are anti-social in their attitude and behavior. Possibly this is a manifestation of resentment toward society and the housed because of their condition. I can't say, but it is manifested as breaking all manner of laws and rules about public behavior in ways that aren't actually necessary fromdefecating in the middle of busy streets in mid-afternoon (there are plenty of secluded places they could do this) to sprawling on busy sidewalks shooting up to blocking those sidewalks with tents and other camping gear such that they are impassable, forcing even the disabled into the street to get around them.

Why can't we do anything about it is the question of the year.


http://www.sfchronicle.com/aboutsfga...d-11242946.php

Think of that: $305 million/7499 = $40,672 spent per homeless person per year . . . and yet, the problem "is as bad as ever". I'd say worse than I've ever seen it in 35 years.

That the city spends $40,000 of each of these people every year suggests they could easily rent a studio apartment for each of them and voila! No more homeless IF simply not having a home were actually the problem. But it clearly isn't.

Niether is a lack of mental health treatment. San Francisco may be one of the few cities in the US that runs an extensive system of public neighborhood health centers whose services include mental health care such as supplying the mentally ill with needed medication as well as other forms of therapy: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/comupg/ose...ntalHlth/CBHS/

I would argue San Francisco does everything the law allows to help the homeless but what it doesn't do is enforce any sort of standard of public behavior. There are laws against lying on sidewalks, obstructing sidewalks, use of many drugs favored by the homeless, indecent exposure (I once witnessed a homeless man strip completely naked in McDonald's dining room), obscene public behavior including defecation and so on. But there is absolutely no will to enforce them, either by the police or by the district attorney.

Most San Franciscans have just gotten used to all this and walk by acting as if nothing is worth notice or surprising. It's just the way things are and nothing is likely to change it.
Multiply the SF problem by 10 and now you're approaching what we're dealing with in LA. These aren't "homeless" people . These are either mentally ill, drug addicts, criminals or people that shun society. Nowadays A very small portion of street people are truly there due to financial reasons. One major source not being mentioned enough is the passage of prop 47 and 57 that reduced many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and released a shit load of criminals on to the streets early.

Anyways, this problem will only get worse in other west coast cities as crackheads and bums from around the country find out that our governments are helpless and can't do anything about truly ending this problem. The ACLU and homeless advocates sue any attempt to enforce laws against these worthless people and we have to deal with it.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 10:07 AM
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I’m glad one of my friends isn’t homeless there anymore. I’ve been homeless and it was crappy. I’ve had enough of being real hot and real cold in my life. Now days with Facebook you can get a hold of people. But some people don’t have any family or anything.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 4:47 PM
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Weather is definitely not the reason why there are homeless in high numbers in Portland, unless they prefer being damp and living in wet conditions for 8 months out of the year.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 4:55 PM
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The SF situation for me got so bad it was definitely a factor for me moving away in 2015. Seattle has a homeless problem but it's far more contained. Perhaps it's because I lived in SoMa, but I was just not down with the rampant lawlessness and disgusting behavior that SFPD turns a blind eye to. Finding someone shooting up in my car, getting my car broken into 8x in 6 years, feeling physically threatened on MUNI all too often got super old. The homeless in SF are much more aggressive and unstable than anywhere else I've visited. My heart goes out to them, but at the end of the day, when it comes to substance abuse, you to take responsibility for your own life--you have to want to get better. Now for the mental illness component--FUCK REAGAN (and capitalism). We need more mental health resources all around in this country that are free or affordable.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 5:39 PM
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Weather is definitely not the reason why there are homeless in high numbers in Portland, unless they prefer being damp and living in wet conditions for 8 months out of the year.
Not to sure about that. Relatively speaking compare Portland to Chicago or even Dallas.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 5:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
I suspect San Francisco is in competition for the worst case of this problem.

Think of that: $305 million/7499 = $40,672 spent per homeless person per year . . . and yet, the problem "is as bad as ever". I'd say worse than I've ever seen it in 35 years.

That the city spends $40,000 of each of these people every year suggests they could easily rent a studio apartment for each of them and voila! No more homeless IF simply not having a home were actually the problem. But it clearly isn't.

Niether is a lack of mental health treatment. San Francisco may be one of the few cities in the US that runs an extensive system of public neighborhood health centers whose services include mental health care such as supplying the mentally ill with needed medication as well as other forms of therapy: https://www.sfdph.org/dph/comupg/ose...ntalHlth/CBHS/

I would argue San Francisco does everything the law allows to help the homeless but what it doesn't do is enforce any sort of standard of public behavior. There are laws against lying on sidewalks, obstructing sidewalks, use of many drugs favored by the homeless, indecent exposure (I once witnessed a homeless man strip completely naked in McDonald's dining room), obscene public behavior including defecation and so on. But there is absolutely no will to enforce them, either by the police or by the district attorney.
Most San Franciscans have just gotten used to all this and walk by acting as if nothing is worth notice or surprising. It's just the way things are and nothing is likely to change it.
I don't want to turn this too political, except to count politics as one factor. Isn't this a result of extreme 'progressive' policy, meaning the lack of enforcement of those laws on the books?

For most people that visit 'the city', its startling and very disappointing. One of the most stunning physical locations and combination of urban environment and physical geography and there is a faction of people that do not have the will to control a real problem, even with tremendous amounts of money being thrown at the problem. The police do what they are told to do.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 6:29 PM
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just for some comparison nyc has around 60k daily residents in homeless shelter settings.

not sure about the unsheltered street people numbers -- the local coalition for the homeless notes:

Each night thousands of unsheltered homeless people sleep on New York City streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces. There is no accurate measurement of New York City’s unsheltered homeless population, and recent City surveys significantly underestimate the number of unsheltered homeless New Yorkers.

Last edited by mrnyc; Nov 28, 2017 at 6:39 PM.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 6:42 PM
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Are there any Canadians on this thread?


Ok...Good. Let's round up all our bums and send them up there.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 6:47 PM
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Are there any Canadians on this thread?


Ok...Good. Let's round up all our bums and send them up there.

what good does moving homeless people from one state to another accomplish?


seriously though, when i just looked it up, 10% of the nyc homeless are in fact sheltered outside the city limits. i don't know if other places do that? its probably cheaper -- or who knows what deals are made to shelter homeless folks??
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 11:11 PM
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Portland passed a"sit lie" ordinance about 10 years ago, which lasted about 6 months before the courts struck it down. It basically said no sitting our lying on sidewalks was permitted from like 7am till 11pm. There was a very noticeable difference, it really seemed like the street kids who tend to congregate were gone.

Now the law says you can sit or lie at least 6 feet from the building during the same hours (against the building is fine overnight). It's amazing how many people set up camp like this, literally inches from traffic, trying to sleep or pass out.

I'm not saying this is some cure for homelessness, but on the other hand I think some of the people who refuse services would be more inclined to get help if they weren't allowed to hang out on street corners all day. It just leads to more problems and does nothing to alleviate the situation.
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Old Posted Nov 28, 2017, 11:26 PM
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Portland passed a"sit lie" ordinance about 10 years ago, which lasted about 6 months before the courts struck it down. It basically said no sitting our lying on sidewalks was permitted from like 7am till 11pm. There was a very noticeable difference, it really seemed like the street kids who tend to congregate were gone.

Now the law says you can sit or lie at least 6 feet from the building during the same hours (against the building is fine overnight). It's amazing how many people set up camp like this, literally inches from traffic, trying to sleep or pass out.

I'm not saying this is some cure for homelessness, but on the other hand I think some of the people who refuse services would be more inclined to get help if they weren't allowed to hang out on street corners all day. It just leads to more problems and does nothing to alleviate the situation.
Yup, same down here. We were making progress and as soon as the 9th district court struck down the law, all hell broke loose.

In reality, we have too many people. We need population control. In the interim, the state needs to allocate funds towards building thousands of mental hospital beds, changing the Lanternman act / 5150 holds so that involuntary holds (Of more than 72 hours, more like 30 - 90 days min) can be instituted again and we can get the crazy people off the streets. Also, i would like the county to allocate land far away from the city where the ones that want to live in tents can legally and have access to toilets, showers, rehab, job centers, etc. Once they are ready, they can be transitioned to housing in the city. This way, we can enforce the laws we have now and we can get back to being a civilized society.
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Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 12:32 AM
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Are there any Canadians on this thread?


Ok...Good. Let's round up all our bums and send them up there.
Vancouver has a pretty bad homeless problem. BC is the dumping ground for Canada's homeless in a similar fashion to California for the States, with Vancouver being the epicentre.
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Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 3:53 AM
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Every state has a dumpster. California it’s la. Oregon it’s portland.
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Old Posted Nov 29, 2017, 3:57 AM
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Now for the mental illness component--FUCK REAGAN (and capitalism). We need more mental health resources all around in this country that are free or affordable.
I’ve posted something like this many times on this site in different contexts but here we go again: The “Reagan did it” theory is by now an almost universally believed myth but much of it is a myth and San Francisco is the proof by exception.

The myth says Reagan caused the problem—some argue nationwide on absolutely no basis at all—because during his time as Governor of California the state mental hospitals were largely closed and the patients turned out. The myth says this was entirely to save money but in reality there was a confluence of reasons that appealed to both the right and the left. Saving money definitely did appeal to the right. But the civil liberties concerns related to keeping people who’d committed no crime locked up involuntarily appealed to the left. What made consensus possible was the development for the first time of truly effective drugs for both schizophrenia and depression. For the former there was Thorazine, Melaril, Stelazine and others. For the latter there was Elavil and othe tricyclics. These drugs teally did make large numbers of deeply psychotic people functional and so the politicians were convinced they could release them on medication and continue treatment as outpatients . . . Which might have worked to some degree if a network of outpatient treatment centers adequate to the job had been funded and if there had been a mechanism to forcibly medicate those who would not or could not voluntarily seek and take medication.

But as I said, I think San Francisco shows that this plan probably could never have worked because San Francisco DOES have facilities for outpatient treatment of the mentally ill and does extensive outreach to find them and try to get them into treatment, yet its streets are still overflowing with mumbling madmen (and women) who have no willingness to be treated.

Still, it just wasn’t all Reagan’s fault in California—he just eagerly bought into the hope along with legislators on both ends of the political spectrum—and he had nothing to do with other states where almost the exact same factors brought about the same result.

As it happens, I was in medical school and post-grad training as all this was happening and actually worked for a few months in an old style state mental hospital in North Carolina while such existed. In that sense, I’ve seen the before and after and watched the transition.
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