Ryan's teacup

Portland commissioner Dan Ryan, the City Hall fall guy on homeless issues, has announced some more sites that are supposed to be made into managed camps. They're spread out around the edges of town. One, way up by Delta Park, will be for RVs.

If I'm reading the story right, there are now supposed to be six such "villages," and they will accommodate around 350 people total. It's a start, I guess. But there's stil hagging to be done with landowners over leases, figuring out who in the homeless industrial complex will get the juicy contracts, and dealing with neighbors who need these camps like they need a hole in the head. Not to mention setting up whatever facilities are going to be offered to the campers. Maybe the city will get some open by next winter. Maybe. The mayor, Dud Wheeler, is declaring an emergency! [Insert sad trombone sound here.]

If and when they do bring these six sites into operation, they will be but a few teacups emptied out of an ocean of despair. How many street dwellers are there in Portland right now, 3,000 maybe? You math majors out there know, 350 "pods" is only what, 12 percent of that number. So even if Ryan gets on a roll, which he sure hasn't yet, at this rate we'd be talking eight or nine rounds of this to get to the needed capacity.

Besides, hundreds of today's street people will never live in a managed camp, a managed shelter, or a managed anything. They're hooked on drugs. For them the choices are either some kind of attempt at treatment, or a slow, ugly death that the rest of us get to watch. I'm all for getting them help, but Ryan's current plans don't seem to include anything for them.

One interesting thing I noticed in the latest news is that a couple of existing managed camps are "affinity" camps, one based on" queer"-ness and the other on race. Is everybody okay with that? It seems like segregation. But I guess it's better than the "unsanctioned" camps all over town. If they had names, they would be something like "Stolen Bike Affinity Village" and "Fentanyl Village."

Anyway, don't worry, Portland. Ryan is working on it. Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart.


  1. Well, something is happening. The encampment behind the Powell MickyD at SE 30th is gone. And, they've moved the junk RV village that was accumulating around Cleveland Field. I haven't transited SE Powell to see if the multiple encampments in all the dumbass offstreet parking coves have been 'relocated', or not.

  2. You would think that if you were homeless it wouldn’t matter who your neighbors were, as long as you have a roof over your head. But this being Portland, I guess nothing surprises me anymore. I can’t imagine being so wrapped up in your sexuality that you seemingly put that first, or even make it of importance. You would think that getting off of the streets would be your only consideration. God I am so sick of this identity politics stuff, it is nauseating sometimes.

  3. At least the "dealing with neighbors" part won't be too burdensome for the City. If you've ever attended an informational meeting on siting one of these type of things, you know the standard response to opposition: 'shut up, we're trying to be heroes here.'

  4. The only thing queer are these hapless ideas. If we are going to really support equality, we should make sure everybody gets the same amount of their daily dope.

  5. You were right Jack. On the website “A Home For Everyone” it says this:

    The three villages opened in Spring 2020 and include:

    BIPOC Village: focusing on Black, Indigenous, & People of Color

    QA Village: also known as Queer Affinity, for folks on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum

    Old Town Village: our non-identity-specific village

    So I guess if you are not a BIPOC or queer, I guess you don’t have an identity? How is this even legal? And I hate the term BIPOC.......it reminds me of ‘chickenpox’ for some reason.

  6. Kudos for your Rodgers and Hammerstein reference!

    What a sad state of affairs. Thank you for calling everyone out with the level of honesty that so few are willing to offer.


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