It is estimated that more than 1,700 people are homeless in Portland on any given night. While we cannot know all of their stories, we can assume that no one answer will address all the needs.
Unfortunately, the issues of homelessness and panhandling have become part of everyday life in downtown Portland. These issues affect everyone.
We have begun working with homeless advocates, the police, Multnomah County, the business community, mental health advocates, non-profits, the faith community, and our own city agencies. Our goals: To identify the various subsets of our homeless population, and to address their needs.
We won’t end homelessness in America. We won’t fix these problems in one year. So those shouldn’t be our goals. But we can begin grappling with the issues right here and right now. And we are.