Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Crap Still Collects In PDX

Me, all bundled up, sitting on the sidewalk at night, in front of the Portland Rescue Mission, in downtown Portland, Oregon


The Portland Tribune just published a story about the erosion of the quality of life in the Oldtown/Chinatown section of Portland, Oregon.

My reaction after reading the article is:

It's Too Late, Baby!

The City of Portland has ignored the growing problem around (what I refer to as) the West Burnside area for years. I spent many a night wrapped-up in blankets on those streets. Then one day I left that city and found a better living arrangement here in Montana.

I tried to make a difference. The following is from an email that I sent to Sam Adams, the Mayor of Portland, on October 15, 2009:

[My friend was beat-up by a guy at 6AM in front of the
Downtown Chapel on West Burnside. I was laying on my blankets and my
pack about three-feet away. And when I flipped open my phone to call
for help, I was informed by a drug-crazed female that I would pay if I
even tried to be a "cop-caller." A bad criminal element has grown and
developed in the West Burnside, Old Town/China Town area. I believe
that it is directly related to the fact that homeless people are
allowed to loiter and/hang-out on the streets all night. And it's not
safe to even use the loo downtown at night. That's crime just waiting
to happen.

Drug-dealing has sky-rocketed because gangs of thugs have
taken up the corners, benches and parts of the sidewalks at night in
that area. It's no joke,'s a damn disgrace. Women are raped,
runaways disappear and as I already described...people are beat up.

Many homeless people have given-up and gone on with their
various addictions. They sit on the bricks and say, "There's no point
in trying" and there they all remain. Nobody gives them a kick in the
pants or enough of a reason to get up and get away from their

And I even attended a meeting with the Business Alliance.

But it never made any difference. And any effort that anybody makes to fix the bad problem in that area...will probably end up being a total waste of time.

So, I am sorry that the good folks who work and live in that area are getting upset once again. But I have no sympathy.

Because I believe that no one, who is aware of the situation, has the guts to remove what is rotting in the middle of that City.

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