RECENTLY ON TOL:
- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
My credentials: I have been close to a chronically homeless person for 11 years. He is 54 years old now, alcoholic, bipolar, and a host of other diagnoses. You wouldn't know it, though, to meet him: he is articulate, well-groomed, funny, charming, and polite.
Over the past 11 years, he has been housed in six "permanent" housing situations with social service agencies here in Portland and 3 other cities, and at least three long-term "transitional" housing situations while waiting for permanent housing.
He was evicted from every one of those six permanent apartments. Why can't he stay housed? Because of his own behavior. He didn't even do anything that terrible: he got drunk, he behaved irrationally, he was arrested for shoplifting (not for food to get by; he was stealing luxury items from a department store).
Shortage of housing is not the root of the problem. It's much deeper than that, and to simplify it to that level doesn't fool anyone, least of all a public that wants to know where it's taxes are going.
posted 2 years, 6 months ago
view in context