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Background Materials

Here are a few suggested background materials representing various key, current viewpoints, to help build shared context for this group. These show substantial overlap in their concerns and suggestions, but also some significant points of difference.

1) "Stop The Sweeps"

Oregonian opinion article from June 12, by Linda Senn (acting Executive Director, Sisters of the Road, writing on behalf of Stop The Sweeps PDX coalition): "Opinion: Amid pandemic, city and Multnomah County must step up housing, facilities for the houseless."


2) N. Portland neighborhoods' proposal 

OPB. "Neighborhood Groups Advocate For Sanctioned Homeless Camps." (story by Courtney Sherwood Follow and Sage Van Wing).  May 22 The story and audio segment discuss and link to a statement/proposal from a coalition of N. Portland neighborhood associations, and interviews Tom Hickey, Bridgeton N.A. chairman and organizer for that coalition. 


3) Homeless Services Measure
Oregon Metro - Ballot Measure 26-210, approved in May, to provide a then-estimated $250M/year funding to homeless services, for the next ten years, via income and business tax.
  a) Metro government's site about the measure, planned process and implementation plan. See links to actual ordinance and plan document lower on page:

  b) Ballot measure text, summary, and arguments as they appeared in voters guides: 

"Summary: Measure funds supportive housing services to prevent and reduce homelessness in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties within district boundaries. Prioritizes services to address needs of people experiencing, or at risk of, long-term or frequent episodes of homelessness."


4) ECONorthwest Portland homelessness study 2018 
ECONNorthwest (John Tapogna, et al). "HOMELESSNESS IN THE PORTLAND REGION: A Review of Trends, Causes, and the Outlook Ahead." Prepared for The Oregon Community Foundation. October 10, 2018 (PDF)

This and related reports from consultancy ECONorthwest were often cited by proponents of Measure 26-210. 


5) May 8 City Club debate about Measure 26-210. (starting around 43:30). 


The Street Truth: What it Really Means to be Homeless in the Portland Region."
City Club of Portland, Friday Forum event, March 14 2019. 

John Tapogna, president of ECONorthwest, will share new research commissioned by Oregon Community Foundation, about the trends and causes of homelessness in the Portland region, and what these findings tell us about the outlook ahead.

Our expert panel will take questions from the audience as we dive into the center of the housing crisis in our region, and seek the best path forward.
Event page & speaker/panelist information:
The event included showing of a short video from Street Roots and what is introduced as a then-new group, Here Together. This is the group/coalition that created the Metro Supportive Housing Services Ballot Measure referenced above. 
Event video:

Ellen, Ingrid Gould, and Brendan O'Flaherty, Editors. How to House the Homeless (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010).

In the 2018 ECONorthwest study noted above, the study authors thank Ellen & O'Flaherty and note at start, "The policy framework advanced in this report draws heavily on their book's insights."

I (Tim, moderator) agree with this endorsement, and have regularly recommended the book to others as a top sugggested book on causes and responses to homelessness. It's costly though, $47 last I checked. For access though you can also


Jessica P. Morrell. (2007) Voices from the Street: Truths about Homelessness from Sisters of the Road.  Amazon has used copies for $6.15 incl s/h.
remarkable book based on interviews with over 600 unhoused Portlanders, from the remarkable Portland institution Sisters of the Road [Cafe], founded 1979.