Listen to your doctor

I know it's not allowed around here, but let's be blunt: Portland's handling of homelessness has been an unmitigated disaster.

And who's been in charge the whole time? The city's mayor, Dud Wheeler, and the Multnomah County chair, [Insert First Name Here] Kafoury. They don't know what they're doing. Just drive around town. It's got to be one of the worst homeless scenes in all of North America.

Oh, and don't forget, Wheeler used to have Kafoury's position. That adds to the failness of their current failure.

Given the lousy job those two have done, I'm willing to listen to any other rational voice for a way out of the current crisis. And I am hearing such a voice from a county commissioner, Sharon Meieran, whose real job before politics was emergency room doctor.

Meieran thinks that the timid plans being proposed by Kafoury and Wheeler – which center on setting up 450 more shelter beds and building more than a thousand new units of crappy apartments – fall far short of what's needed right now. Meieran wants more action, and quicker. Including twice that number of shelter beds and a "broad, coordinated network of alternative shelter options and basic hygiene services," including "25 different alternative shelters (a term that encapsulates tiny house villages, heated pod clusters, a parking lot designated for car camping, or other non-traditional shelter ideas) dispersed equitably across five different sections of Multnomah County."

As part of this concept, she wants to move people off the streets and into managed camps. That might actually involve telling some vagrants that they have to go somewhere they don't want to go or do something they don't want to do.

What??? How dare she??? The kids at the Merc rake her over the coals for it here. "Criminalizing houselessness," blah blah blah.

The Merkies side with the incompetent bobbleheads who have gotten Portland to where it is today. People like "Marisa Zapata, director of Portland State University's Homelessness Research & Action Collaborative" and "Katrina Holland, the director of homeless service nonprofit JOIN who also sits on the AHFE Coordinating Board." Elected by no one, and accomplishing little to nothing.

I'm with Meieran. The current response is bullshit, and at some point, Portland and its sidewalk campers are going to have to get real. The voters just handed the bizarre Metro "government" $2.5 billion over 10 years to clean the place up. Let's hold our noses and get on with it.


  1. Well, there's this option:

    1. Be prepared for some some shrill screaming and some nasty photos out of Austin over the summer. "Criminalizing houselessness" is going to be a rallying cry down there. But call it what you want, it's necessary. You can't allow people to camp anywhere they want and still have a society. Of course, not all people want a society...


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