Too many cooks

Part of why the homeless crisis in Portland is so bad is that the response is pitifully disorganized. There are seemingly dozens of nonprofits involved, so many that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.

The current structure of addressing homeless issues is too fragmented with 15 separate groups or levels, the Joint Office of Homeless Services told Multnomah County commissioners....

“Figuring out how they all talk to one another has been an ongoing puzzle, sort of like sudoku sometimes,” said Joshua Bates, the interim deputy services director for the Joint Office. “Really that has been an ongoing issue for A Home for Everyone is figuring out what alignment looks like between all of these groups.”

But maybe the bigger problem is that the bureaucratic side of things is also split, between the city and Multnomah County. Nothing can happen unless Dud Wheeler and Deadly Deborah both interrupt their elaborate grooming regimens to sign off.

The taxpayers need somebody to take charge of this. And by that I don't mean pussyfooting around reorganizing some inane, unwieldy, oversized committee. And while they're supposedly talking about changing the city's form of government (talk that never ends in any action), they really ought to be looking at merging the entire city and the county governments, like the big boys do in California.