Re: Opinions on National Alliance to End Homelessness

Tommy Kiser

Thanks Jeff. I appreciate you sharing your experience, and I agree, its unfortunate that we tend to be corralled politically into backing a one-size-fits-all approach, and that business interests are nearly always put ahead of the needs of people living on the street. Your home looks very comfortable and well-crafted, and I’m glad you are happy with it. I oppose sweeps and hate the harm they do to our communities.

I know there are many who are looking for help of various kinds in getting off the streets, or in living more comfortably and humanely in the situation they are in, and I’m just looking to support effective efforts and programs at both short and long term ways to improve this situation for those who want/need the help. This is why I reached out to this list for input. I value this community, and I’m always looking to learn more from anyone willing to share their thoughts. Thanks very much for sharing.


On Jun 3, 2021, at 7:53 PM, Mimi German <mirgerman0000@...> wrote:

The answers have always been with folks who are trying to survive outside. Thank you for your email, Jeff. I so appreciated reading/hearing something so very real in this entire email thread. 

On Jun 3, 2021, at 7:03 PM, Jeff Liddicoat <outsideartsale@...> wrote:

I could be wrong but I think every
very last one of you would stand mutely by while people like me get force fed whatever your favored approach is. But whether it’s Housing First, or alternative shelter, tiny house villages or self governed campgrounds, or outdoor shelters with wrap around services, I simply say no thank you - I’m good. I don’t want and don’t need what you have to offer. I like living by myself. Like most people I’d rather be governed by myself than by either the city or some self governing group or self appointed non profit. I don’t care to be on a path towards more substantial housing - that would just give me a more substantial carbon footprint. I like the structure I have built for myself. It provides privacy and protection from the elements. With what I save on utility bills I’ve provided myself with a heater an air conditioner and the best bedding money can buy. My outdoor location is also convenient for the art work I do and for the way I want to market that art. I could probably do better with my solid and other waste products - but then so could you. And when it comes to the issue of whether or not the homeless or the housed are a greater threat to public health - your carbon footprint alone is causing a loss for all of us. 
I’ve included some photos of the home I live inside the great outdoors. Chances are  in case of an earthquake I’d rather be in my place than in one of the high rise death traps that surround my place. It is an awfully urban setting but that is how I sell my art. And even though I’m in such an urban environment I’m much closer to the nature of things than my indoor neighbors. I live closer to the birds and ants and squirrels and mice and butterflies. I know every time it starts to rain I absorb the myriad patterns of rainfall in Oregon. Most of the time my neighbors are shielded from even knowing it’s raining. Meanwhile they are unshielded from the radon gases that build up in their overly sealed up structures. 
I’m satisfied with the aesthetics of my place inside and out. Just as I know I have less of a carbon footprint I know I have added more beauty than many of the housed around me some of them  one in the same with those who actively seek to have the homeless swept away because they are an eye sore and a threat to public health.
I realize many on this site have good intentions. But there are some who push for shelter and housing programs because they want a get tougher approach used on non-compliant campers like me. And I can’t help but be nervous when hardly a single seemingly good intentioned participant ever gives even a word of support but for forcing everyone into whatever their preferred final solution may be.

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 2:55 PM Joseph Purkey <jpurkey@...> wrote:
The sleeping pod/common building village model can work well as a transitional housing approach with on-site program/case management, but I could also see it working as a permanent housing approach with a cohousing model. 

Similar models could be done with tiny homes (on or off wheels, depending on jurisdiction) as a step up in individual amenities, with or without a common building.


Joseph Purkey, Principal
Convergence Architecture
Pronouns: he/him/his
7302 N Richmond Ave | Portland, OR 97203
tel. 503.308.1028, ext. 102 
| cell 503.752.8349

On Thu, Jun 3, 2021 at 2:32 PM Tommy Kiser <tommy@...> wrote:
Hmm, ok, thanks very much for this Jayme. I’m much newer to focused activism on this issue than probably most on this list, so I very much appreciate the added historical perspective.

Would you consider the village approach (individual shelters, shared services, etc.) to fall under the umbrella of “Housing First”? That is the sort of solution that seems most promising to me at this point if adopted widely. That’s the sort of thing I was hoping to advocate for with this message.

Of course I also realize no one approach will solve the entire problem, I’m also wholly in favor of more services/outreach to camps and meeting people where they are, while we work towards longer term solutions.

All that said, I realize this issue is insanely complex, and there’s no great way to boil it down to one or two sentences. But if you had a few seconds to give a very short message to a large audience, what would you say that you think might make an impact? (Maybe this is the question I should have asked this group to begin with.)

And thanks Donna for the background on the Alliance. Great to hear, and I look forward to watching the webinar you shared.


On Jun 3, 2021, at 1:52 PM, Jayme Delson <jayme@...> wrote:

Hi Tommy,

Housing first is Transitional housing without the barer to entry of substance abuse, this is a good upgrade in my opinion.

Sadly Transitional housing (housing first) in general has an poor track record on mid and longer term outcomes, in the cases that are tracked which are few.   (Under 20% remain housed longer than 6months or so)  its no ones fault, as you say living wage jobs are needed.  However if you think as i do, that that is not the prevailing long term trend, than how could this work?  I have watched this for 40 years now, its just getting worse.  

I am happy for the few it helps.  I am sad for the majority who are asked to trod the bridge to no where, over and over again.  To say nothing of the mental health impacts of the few who do gain housing, with no upward mobility, and 4 walls a TV,  no yard, no uplifting culture, or way out.  For most this is a perfect recipe  for depression or worse.



On 6/3/2021 11:20 AM, Donna Cohen wrote:
I recently saw a webinar from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Yes, they are a good group.
Homeless Policy in the Recovery Plans (recorded webinar) May 12, 2021 
From National Alliance to End Homelessness
The webpage has a video of the webinar, a transcript and a set of excellent slides from the second speaker, who was from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Donna L Cohen, MLIS, MEd
Portland, Oregon
Civics for Adults – and Others – Workshops: To Enhance Civic Knowledge and Inspire Political Engagement
“My philosophy is very simple. When you see something that is not fair, not right, not just – stand up, say something, speak up!” Rep. John Lewis
From: <> On Behalf Of Tommy Kiser
Sent: Thursday, June 3, 2021 11:02 AM
Subject: [pdxshelterforum] Opinions on National Alliance to End Homelessness
Hi all - really appreciate everyone on this list and all you’re doing to make real change for our unhoused and housing-unstable neighbors.
I just wanted to solicit some opinions from the group. I’m making a short film right now that’s meant to make a statement on houselessness, and I was looking for a website to link to in the credits for good explanations of housing-first solutions, and the importance/efficacy of them. The potential audience is national (not local/state level). The call to action is to support housing-first solutions and living wage jobs, and to demand the same of elected leaders.
I found the National Alliance to End Homelessness (, and from the website it looks like they have some really good data and messaging around the topic. Anyone here have any experience with them? I looked them up on Charity Navigator and they have a good score there for fiscal transparency and accountability. Mainly want to do some due diligence and make sure they are a worthy org to drive traffic to before I highlight their site. (Not that I expect millions of viewers here, this is just a personal project, but nonetheless.)
Any thoughts or opinions are welcome and appreciated. Also if you have any other organizations or web resources to suggest, please send them my way. Thanks in advance!

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