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December 15, 2020


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Portland keeping people from
being with out a house.

Red House Eviction Defense RHED


One of my favorite solutions is to take two problems and integrate them to create ways to deal with both.

We know the homeless problem will continue to grow given where we are today. We know bricks and mortar retail will also give us massive amounts of empty space. Hell, before the pandemic, huge outdated box stores sat empty and were an albatross on communities.

Why not look at a comprehensive plan to use those monstrosities to house the homeless? Create small individual spaces where people can live. It would be a selective process to start with. Throwing criminals in with folks in need is hardly one with good outcomes.

And as long as we are looking for solutions, how about if we add small police substations into the equation? Much of what i have read is if we can return more to community based departments, we can begin to solve some of the resentments towards police.

I know, there are a myriad of issues with the suggestion, but staying the course we are on only makes everything worse.

Portland is not preventing homelessness per Cal's link. It's doing what it does best, enabling thugs to hide behind social justice rhetoric in order to romanticize their violence. The house in question was not even occupied when it was repossessed.

The owners live in another house two miles away. It's valued at over $650,000. The owners' son, a convicted felon and self-proclaimed "sovereign citizen" decided to stop paying the mortgage on the unoccupied house. He also changed his last name from Kinney to Nietzsche. Portland: keeping it weird since 1853! All that said, they started a Go Fund Me campaign and collected over $300,000, more than enough to pay off the mortgage. That house is valued at 400K, This means the owners are millionaires.

The reason this became a flashpoint in our ongoing Culture War is that the owners are biracial. No justice, no peace, as they say. What this means to the sanctimonious left is that law must be filtered through prisms of wokeness or we're guilty of oppression. And merrily down that rabbit hole we shall proceed.

Soleri, I agree. Thanks for following up. Glad I was able to stimulate your brain cells. Dont forget to go for a bike ride today.

"I" didnt say it was solving the problem.
I posted the activity as part of the problem. Like the Blackblocs of France.

Play with this:
“You mean they’re homeless? I asked. That’s right, he said, but here we also call them street people. Or throwaways, Fredy muttered after taking a sip of coffee. Because they’re good for nothing.” Eduardo Halfon

“Bill Gates reads like a fairly open-faced book if you know where he has been coming from for the last 15 years. I read something by him, about 15 years ago. He was fascinated with vaccines, including vaccines as birth control. Now he does not say that.
Bill sees the importance of reducing global human population to what global ecosystems can sustain.” John Day

Sounds like you're ready to move back to Phoenix Soleri!

People like Oregon

Hi, Jon. For the past 17 years, I've led environmental restoration efforts and a citizen-driven public safety initiative in what's called The Jungle in Seattle. The Jungle is not a piece of forest next to Interstate-5, it is a socio-geographical phenomenon that overlaps several neighborhoods and communities south of downtown.

In Seattle, government, specifically the city council, has tended to accept a blanket definition of "homeless" people, one promoted by activist journalism and organizations. The reality of the homeless population in the city is very different; it's not one group of people.

I've known people who've lived in the woods for over a decade, who take care of their camps and want nothing to do with activists. Their sense of autonomy is reasoned, no matter how questionable some of their conclusions. Another group are drug addicts; the narcotics trade is much more than a dealer on a street corner. Instead, organized crime controls the market and this group's lives. That is a broader topic, we can have that conversation if you like.

On Beacon Hill, homeless veterans gather around the VA hospital for convenience to care and social support from other vets. One vet with a leg wound maintained a fastidious camp downhill from some houses, whose owners helped him for years. He also helped other homeless vets as he could.

Street alcoholics are often bundled with narcotic addicts as a single group, the addicted. The needs, psychology, and social conduct of street alcoholics are different from those of heroin, crack, and meth addicts.

Not all homeless people are addicts; that is a myth that is popularized based in Seattle on a few statements made by some homeless people in the media. A 70+ year-old former neighbor of mine became temporarily homeless for four months when he was priced out of his apartment; Ben was neither a drunk nor a junkie.

Nor are all homeless people mentally ill, yet obviously mentally people comprise a portion of the population of homeless people. Down the street from me is a transitional residential home, with one-on-one counseling support, for people released from Harborview's psych ward who have stabilized on medication but would end up on the streets unmedicated again if they were just released. A friend is the former chief of admissions to Harborview's psych ward; he told me that the state's voluntary and involuntary commitment laws guarantee that most mentally ill people with severe problems are often released without support, leading to re-admittance, more suffering, even suicides.

Former prisoners - aka, ex-cons, returnees - from the state prisons are another unique population. Since there are so few programs that help those with lived experience transition outside of prison, it's often an insurmountable hurdle for them to find an apartment and so a job. While there is a well-staffed and established program at a transitional facility for women one block south of my home, there are few opportunities for men getting out of stir.

Homeless youth - many "graduated" from the foster programs - also differ from these other populations of homeless people. They, too, have particular needs. While several organizations work with them, the life on the streets for homeless young people can be the beginning of a cycle of lost chances and lost lives.

Until our electeds, bureaucrats, and agencies take a more realistic perspective on the individuals who are homeless, I believe Seattle will continue to act out its sweep/no sweep dilemma. We need creative solutions, and those solutions may differ not only for the populations of homeless people, but for the neighborhoods where they live.

Craig, thanks good info.
Meanwhile a more pressing issue:

Jerry, when I moved to Portland in 2013, I was in love with its pre-automotive urban form, lovely old buildings, and hip creative class. Now, it's become a nightmare it can't awake from. Much of this isn't even its fault since the homeless crisis is an epidemic along the entire west coast. I first noticed this growing problem in 2015 and by 2018 it had metastasized to the point that people I knew began seriously talking about leaving. The political insanity here means that we'll literally spend billions trying to solve a national crisis by making Portland as welcoming as possible to the "unhoused". Street drugs are being decriminalized to make sure their bad moods are well-medicated. Urban camping is now seen as a civil right while the homeless are referred to by some in the government and media as victims of the patriarchy.

I won't be moving back to Arizona. I predict climate change/water shortages will destroy the state's appeal to both residents and newcomers, possibly as soon as 2030. But I am waving the white flag. As a lifelong liberal, I'm having a crisis of faith that virtuemongering can address our civic dysfunction, which greenlights anarchy in the name of justice and white guilt as its emotional predicate.

America's crisis of faith is splitting us apart as a nation. We no longer agree on the basic contours of reality nor do we trust one another enough to cooperate fully in common projects. This problem can't be solved by being right or "principled". It's going to take something deeper in us than preening one's superiority in political debates. It will require more humility than certitude, which means we can fake it but never well enough to succeed.

Thank you, Jon, for laying out the problem. Thank you, Craig, for providing, an insider’s perspective. I grew up in Portland and raised my kids there.For the last seven years I’ve mainly lived in Phoenix, where you can hide from the homeless. In Portland, you can’t. Phoenix has never heard of an urban growth boundary. Portland’s middle class neighborhoods have more Black Lives Matter lawn signs than there are
Blacks in the whole town.How does The city approach the homeless situation? One idea was to station porta potties in neighborhoods where neighbors complained of feces on the parking strips. Once upon a time, we had bikeways along the Springwater Corridor to Gresham. If you’re going for a bike ride, Soleri.use caution on the Springwater Corridor to Gresham. You may run into unwanted company.

We're doing our part up here in the Rim country. The developers have learned to use the buzz words, "Affordable Housing" when applying to the planning and zoning and city council people. Currently, our affordable housing starts at $320,000. There are no jobs here, so be sure to come here with a sizable retirement nest egg.

I'm reminded of Steve Martin's advice years ago on how to become a millionaire, First step, get a million dollars.

Sounds like a plan as good as any put forth by the experts.

We do have a warming center here when the temp reaches 32 degrees. 33 degrees and above, here's a few bucks, go back where you came from.

Looks like the range of solutions has ranged from bulldozers in Phoenix to porta-johns in Portland. That's quite a range. I propose to you that this human condition of "homelessness" is unsolvable. Unless families and friends step up, that's a wrap. Society in America in it's current state can't fix this.

Speaking of rabbit holes, we have a Sun City person offering a solution. They won't pass a school bond, god forgive, but they will offer a suggestion about fixing housing. I imagine as long as the solution is far, far away from the golf courses of the golden years retirement area.

Great column and unfortunately the problem is just getting worse in Phoenix. It's not yet as bad as Tucson in the late 80's with a tent city in the courtyard of the County Courthouse or Sacramento in 2009 with encampments along the riverbank but maybe that's because they are spread out all over town, especially along the light rail line. Unfortunately I fear that the homeless situation in Phoenix is going to get far worse before it gets better.

"Get better?"
Wait till the food riots start!
Probably Az Rebel and i will not be around for that Soylent Green meal.

cal, we'll be the crackers. When they make my batch, I hope they throw in some Hatch green chili.

When you order a Cheeseburher at the drive thru in Hatch NM you have to ask them to hold the green chilies.
So i just loaded Quest for Fire
in the VHS

Good luck to all of you. Loved the site and especially Jon's works, both fiction and non. That said, the whole notion of Sun City being kicked about as the place greedy old people go to die gets really tiring.

It simply tells me you have never been here or have any idea how or why it works. All good, nothing like ignorant people proving how little they know. The line was crossed when you decided to make it personal azreb.

While you are off stopping world hunger and feeding the whales, we'll try and take care of our community by giving back...literally millions of hours a year. Funny how that works eh, fixing what is right in front of you is far more effective than typing on a keyboard and doing nothing.

Happy holidays to all. I've got work to do in the city of volunteers. Thanks Jon for the site and your writing.


I hope you will continue to read the column. You can stop before the comments.

Sun City's reputation for volunteering in its community while consistently voting against taxes, levies for schools and being very red are both undeniable.

That doesn't mean you aren't more enlightened. Don't take it personally. Reb was out of line to make it so. The civil, value-added comments set RC apart.

It was not personal and it was not out of line. It was a “ come on, get real “ statement. By, example, what if I were to suggest that sun city turn two of their huge rec centers into homeless shelters? How about if I were to suggest that the sun city rec fund were to spend some of their $25,000,000 cash reserve for food for the homeless? Silly ideas? Of course they are, get real.

All this little exchange proves is that the problem is unsolvable and will only get bigger and more unsolvable.

To Mr. Pearson, it wasn’t personal, and I apologize if it was taken as such.

To Sun City, no apology. You always have been part of society’s problem, never a solution.

I recall The good ole days of Sin City
Until the sheriff and his Volunteer Posse
Deputies tried to shut down sex

Good column, Rogue. I have some interaction with homeless in my job and can attest to the fact that the population is varied and that solutions are not obvious or easy. There's got to be a better approach than what the urban west coast has taken, though.

I think Bill's big-box idea has potential. Off the top of my head, I imagine it would need to be well-policed and the biggest hurdle would be NIMBYism. But if you already have urban campers in your back yard, it may have a lot of appeal!

Houston's Star Of Hope program seems to be kind of effective. They built a large facility for women that appears to work well, but I'm not aware of any residential facility for men as large as that.

Greater meaning of the subject was developed from reading two recent books. Each introduce situations of countrymen on the cusp of financial disaster as those who have lost everything.

Tightrope and Nomadland follow collapsed lives as camper/van dwellers, who seasonally follow work opportunities, usually filling temporary Amazon positions.

Americans reaching for hope, indeed, sheds light on the unfortunate and their struggle to survive.

Nomand Land was a good read. I have not read Tightrope.

Allegedly the "UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that global population would increase by 34 percent by 2050, to 9.1 billion. It added that in order to feed this larger more urban and richer population food production... must increase by 70 percent."

Shut down by corona, Berlin restaurant opens for homeless

Some good news from the Rogue Arizona Pages.


and how about the 15 Colorado river dams
and hundreds of dams on tributaries?
Ask the Sea of Cortez

Lack of affordable housing? Is GCU's expansion
part of the problem? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RNatWN0UZM

About to get worse as the
"eviction crisis " is upon us.

The Audubon article on the San Pedro river is a good read. See Rogue's Arizona pages.


You make some excellent observations here and your writing is a joy, but you somehow managed to virtually ignore the whopping elephant that’s wrecking the room: illegal drugs. Meth and heroin, in particular, are huge contributing factors to both mental illness and homelessness. And to the rot of US cities and quite a few rural areas. I don’t pretend to have the answers but the denial, or lack of recognition, in public discourse can be incredibly frustrating. Homeless druggies often tend to be far more direct and honest about this stuff than many observers, especially in dogma-ridden towns like Seattle and San Francisco.

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