Here's a homeless camp in downtown Portland that many folks - particularly Portland politicians - find disturbing:
Portland City Council members want to move this camp, referred to as "Right 2 Dream Too" (R2D2) over to the southeast industrial area, where it won't be so noticeable. Yet what I see when looking at it is a place that's clean and well-organized. And while it would be nice if they had actual homes rather than having to live in tents, they seem nonetheless to possess a level of dignity and self-respect not found in other areas around the city, where what I refer to as Bum Camps abound; those folks seem to lack fundamental dignity, self-respect, and concern for others.
Let's take a moment to examine a photo of a typical Bum Camp. The difference should be immediately apparent:
Portland City Council members (and Multnomah County commisioners) seem to believe that all the guy below needs is for taxpayers to pay a few hundred million dollars to build him some "affordable housing".
All of those politicians are completely out of touch, and most Oregonians know it:
Is a lack of affordable housing the root cause of homelessness?
Some local affordable housing advocates are making that argument as they press Portland and Multnomah County leaders to spend millions of dollars to create more affordable housing.
But most people in Oregon and the Portland area don’t agree with that premise, according to a recent survey by DHM Research. Although the vast majority of respondents believe the state and region is facing a housing crisis, most believe homelessness is best viewed as a separate issue that requires other solutions.
In looking at the issue of homelessness, a large majority of respondents, both in the Portland area and across the rest of the state, attribute homelessness not so much for lack of "affordable housing", but to other factors such as chronic unemployment (number one according to respondents). In fact, lack of "affordable housing" came in well down the list in terms of most cited causes. Unemployment was number one:
It was followed by personal choice, poverty, the lack of mental illness services, low-paying jobs, and the lack of substance abuse services. The lack of affordable housing came in seventh with only 22 percent.
Clearly, the Democrat politicians are completely tone-deaf; the only drum they can come up with to bang on is that taxpayers need to give them (in the city of Portland and the County of Multnomah) some $300 million so that they can build "affordable housing".
It doesn't seem to occur to them that getting involved in the real estate and construction industries doesn't fall into the category of core government functions.
Now, doing things like maintaining infrastructure such as roads does fall into that category, but having spent decades on frippery, they now complain that they don't have the money to do what they should have been doing all along. Public safety is another item that falls into the core function category, but as noted here recently, the city's police chief - under multiple investigations after having shot his drinking buddy and then lying about it - has resigned. And the Sheriff in Multnomah county is facing scrutiny over his actions as well.
Neither government seems able to address the core function of public safety, yet they have somehow concluded that they should get millions more in tax dollars to build "affordable housing" for the homeless.