It's only money

How much outside grant money can Multnomah County lose because it's utterly mismanaging the homeless crisis? It seems the sky's the limit.

This week we find out that a $550,000 federal grant to fund operation of a new van to bring passed-out street people to a sobering center – much like the old, highly effective "CHIERS" van – has been forfeited because, well, there is no sobering center. But hey, the county chair, Chevy Vega, says she's going to have a committee study the idea. And she's got her usual word salad to deflect her bungling.

“It took our community years to move from planning to action for [Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network] investments,” Vega Pederson told WW. “That was far too long, which is why I stepped in after becoming chair and moved us to making bigger investments. I’m not surprised to hear that funding opportunities were missed because of how long this work has taken....

“The acuity of behavioral health issues in our community has skyrocketed since the days of the CHIERS van and the drunk tank. We’re now in a place of funding a stabilization center, thanks to the recommendations of our health care experts and the investments of our board. And Commissioner Julia Brim-Edwards will be leading work on additional sobering capacity—which is in addition to the 17 sobering beds coming online already this year. That is necessary progress.”

The latest bad news comes on heels of the loss of $2.7 million in state money for homeless relief. Governor Kohoutek gave the money away elsewhere because Multnomah County simply does not have its act together. Funny thing, Clackamas County was apparently able to put its share to work right away.

The loss of these grants is what happens when you vote for unqualified people because of the boxes they check for gender, race, sexual orientation, and similar traits. Usually, you live to regret it.


  1. A Democratic governor acknowledges that Tootie Smith by herself outshines the entire Multnomah County commission. Ah, how the politically connected have fallen.

    1. A Democratic governor acknowledges that Republican Tootie Smith by herself outshines the entirely Democrat Multnomah County commission. Ah, how the politically Democrat connected have fallen.

  2. Word salad keeps the media happy. Who are we to complain?

  3. So she just 'learned' of the expiration of funding when it expired? As opposed to being aware of deadlines, and taking steps to make sure that available funds are put to use, I guess.

  4. I always look for terms EQUITY, SOCIAL JUSTICE, CLIMATE CRISIS, BLAH BLAH BLAH and know who is NOT getting my vote. Hard to find alternatives these days.

  5. What’s the word? Ach! Schadenfreude. That’s the word, the very word, indeed. I reckon it’ll be 2035 before it begins to clear out Multnomah County way. Not that the squalor the brainiacs of the last 25 years have micromanaged into existence will vanish. Hey! I heard urban farming was coming along strong in Detroit.


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