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Emerson, I fully agree.
I have a slide show presentation that outlines
this. It calls for an emergency iteration Phase 1, and a
permanent iteration Phase 2. It brakes down initial start up
costs and operating costs for Phase 1 and also for Phase 2. As
well as a cost comparison to current models. Additionally it
outlines a vision of what such a place may look like as it
I have found support within local planning
departments and among elected officials as well.
So far i have had the most difficulty in finding
people who can make a little time to spear head such a course of
action. Winning over elected officials, community development
departments as well as the citizens in the general area of such
villages. As well as all the documentation necessary to
satisfies everyone's questions etc.
Also a team is needed to help initially establish
such places, as well as resolve and avert potential difficulties
On 5/23/2021 9:33 PM, Emerson This
sharing this, Tim!
interview you touched on several things that I've been
thinking/feeling for a long time! The main take-away for me is
that the debate between "permanent" housing vs immediate
remedies to the humanitarian crisis is a false dichotomy. We
need BOTH! My sense is that the conversation has devolved into
competing factions mostly because we know there's insufficient
political will and/or funding to do both. In other words,
there's no practical reason why we couldn't walk AND chew gum.
Rather, we feel like we can't afford the gum and the
walking shoes. Do we have to accept this constraint?
the money has to come from somewhere. But it's frustrating and
tragic that the options seem to have been reduced to expensive
long-term "permanent" housing solutions or
slightly-less-expensive short-term alternative shelters /
villages. I don't have anything against either of those
approaches. But I talk to unhoused people on a weekly basis,
and they list the same urgent needs you mention in your
interview. Folks repeatedly ask for the same super basic
things: trash bags. Anywhere to stay dry and not get
harassed. A way to prevent their stuff from getting stolen so
they can leave their campsite to do... anything
besides guard their stuff all day! These specific problems
just aren't that complicated or expensive. I know because I've
seen it with my own eyes. I've seen ordinary citizens take it
on themselves to provide trash cans, upgrade tents to make
them warmer and drier, provide places to secure stuff... etc.
These kinds of things immediately improve the lives of
unhoused people and their housed neighbors and they cost
pennies. Of course, many of the folks on this forum already
know all this. But I never hear anyone in City Hall talk like
this. It seems like the politics of the moment (and tons of
red tape) have made it suicideal to consider simple,
imperfect, commonsense ideas.
I wonder what
readers of this forum think? Do we have the stomach for
admittedly imperfect, short-term solutions? For example, what
if the city magically escaped the political gridlock and
sanctioned unused spaces all across the city for camping.
Maybe each one gets a dumpster. And maybe they even buy
hundreds of cheap garden sheds. I'll be the first to admit
this is not "good enough" in the long term and flawed in many
ways. But it's also 100 times better than the current
situation, right? And it could literally be accomplished in
days for less than the cost of a single fancy shelter or
village. To be clear, I'm not claiming this is the
solution. It's just a hypothetical example of the kinds of
messy, imperfect ideas that I wish there was more space for.
WW interviewed me, I wrote it up:
"The houseless vs the settlement: interview
with Willamette Week".
discussing, among others:
County Commissioner Sharon Meieran,
County Chair Deborah Kafoury
PSU Homelessness Research & Action
Collaborative director Dr. Marisa Zapata
Homer Williams, founder of Oregon Harbor of
Councilmember Dan Ryan.
Peel, Reporter, WW
Zusman, Publisher WW
Mesh, Editor, WW
Jaquiss, Reporter, WW
Monahan, Reporter, WW
Riski, Reporter, WW
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