Give tough love a chance

Here's an important article about something that's happening on the streets of New York City that shoould also be happening on the streets of Portland.

The mayor’s directive calls for the police, paramedics and groups that work with homeless New Yorkers to send people to hospitals when mental illness leaves them unable to “meet basic living needs,” even if they’re not threatening to hurt themselves or others.

It has met with criticism and a legal challenge. But one social-service agency in the Bronx that has been sending people to hospitals says the policy is yielding encouraging results, thanks largely to more diligent and longer-term hospital treatment....

One woman who was hospitalized was in her late 70s and had been homeless for so long that her campsite on White Plains Road shows up in Google Street View images going back to 2016.

BronxWorks said that city hospitals, which have been criticized for quickly discharging homeless psychiatric patients without helping them, now often keep people long enough to give them meaningful treatment and get them ready for housing. 

Read the story; it's not all that time-consuming. A few lives have been drastically improved, if not saved. Many more could be.

This is what we need in Portland. Much, much more mental health and addiction treatment capacity, and then the tent people are given a choice, treatment or jail. (And yes, more jail beds, sorry, kids.) It's expensive, but it's the only way out. Let the ACLU scream. Handing millions to developers to build cr-apartments is not the answer. It's not even an answer.


  1. That would assume that the people in charge actually care about the results. What they are doing now is nothing but window dressing.

  2. Activists, politicians, and the local media have been put homelessness at the top of discussions about Portland’s cultural issues. I wish all of them would change their conversation and concentrate their talk to address the mental heath aspect and stop raising money to build future slums .


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