Report: Portland Area Spent over Half a Billion Fighting Homelessness

Tents line the sidewalk on SW Clay St in Portland, Ore., on Dec. 9, 2020. People with disa
Craig Mitchelldyer/AP

The battle against homelessness in the Portland, Oregon, area reportedly came with a high cost in 2023, with most of the money going to temporary shelter, services, and housing placement.

ECOnorthwest’s analysis found in the counties of Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas, “local governments and nonprofits” shelled out $531 million for homeless interventions, Fox News reported on Thursday.

“The huge increase was driven in part by nearly $90 million in federal pandemic relief funds, as well as a regional homeless tax approved by voters in 2020, the report shows,” the outlet said.

In February, Portland’s city leaders bought 100 tiny home pods, at a cost of $16,510 each, for homeless people living at the Multnomah Safe Rest Village, per Breitbart News.

“Temporary Alternative Shelters Sites Public Information Officer Savannah Eadens said the pods have a bed, bedding, and heater. She added that the structures are supposed to last for five years but they also come with a warranty,” the outlet noted.

The recent Fox article continued:

About 7,500 people in the tri-county area are living in emergency shelters or on the streets. But the report also includes more than 13,000 individuals who have recently exited homelessness and now receive rental support, as well as more than 81,000 people considered to be at risk of homelessness due to low incomes and high housing costs.

The bulk of the funds were spent on temporary shelter and services, followed by housing placement, according to the report. Administration and other operating costs ate up about $50 million.

Some families in Portland have fled the city to get away from rampant homelessness and crime, a report said in 2022.

According to Breitbart News:

“Every day if you go from one end of the street to the other, you’re confronting some very difficult situations, people in really dire straits,” said Mark Smith, whose backyard is next to a homeless encampment.

Portland experienced a massive spike in its homicide rate from 2019 to 2021, recording a 207 percent increase. During that same time frame, frequent ANTIFA riots were also occurring in the downtown area.

More recently, neighbors were deeply concerned as homeless vehicles stacked up along Portland’s Southeast 94th Avenue, and one man told KATU his two young daughters watch drug deals happen from the window of their house.

“We have issues with human waste and drug paraphernalia in our yard, in our neighbor’s yard. Our kids can’t play out front. There’s a general level of danger pretty much at all times,” he said, adding that some of the people living in the vehicles carry weapons such as machetes and bats:

Another neighbor blamed city leaders for only taking small actions to combat the issue, actions that do not get the individuals off the street.

“They continue to give these people handouts instead of hand ups,” she said.


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