While still cleaner and safer than most American cities— it’s feared that the Rose City is becoming a haven for the undeserving poor.
Homeless services providers supported by the city, policy wonks and the business community have recently blamed Street Roots and Sisters of the Road along with homeless people this week of being obstructionists — after the organizations ask the city not to sweep homeless people from under bridges.
“I’m telling you, SR and other groups are to blame for not only the filth, but also for the courts determining that laws we created to target homeless people are unconstitutional,” says one source at City Hall who asked not to be named. “They just get up in here and start preaching at everybody, saying homeless people shouldn’t be ticketed for sleeping, they should be allowed to be in public and exist — on sidewalks even. Can you believe that? Homeless people will actually show up to committee meetings and hearings and say the same thing. It makes it really hard for all of us to do our work.”
One homeless provider who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the subject matter says, “We’re on track with the 10-year plan to end homelessness, and we only want what’s best for people on the streets. If SR and others want to do what’s best for Portland they would shut the hell up and sell their newspapers and feed people. It’s really hard to make backroom deals that help the ‘real’ homeless people, and to keep the streets clean when both of those organizations are running their mouths. At times, even joking about it.”
Part of the problem is being blamed on the youths.
Youths Gone Wild
At the forefront of the problem are the youths gone wild, specifically street youths who are thought to be under the influence of the devil, and the ‘80s hair metal band Skid Row. Their predecessors, the same ones who brought us things like jazz, beat poetry, rock-n-roll, ganja, acid, gayness, punk rock, skaters, hip-hop and now, complete anarchy, have now turned against the youth in an effort to rid them from downtown. Continue reading