It has been nearly a year since Portland City Commissioner and Mayoral Candidate Rene Gonzalez ordered Portland to stop offering tents to homeless people. During the third week of January Portland experienced a historic deep freeze in which at least fifteen people died of exposure-related deaths. In October Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced a resumption of the camping ban. All of this is happening in advance of a Supreme Court case originating in Oregon which is expected to give cities broad powers to sweep homeless camps.
Please join us on Monday, January 29th at 6:30 pm for Prison Pipeline on KBOO Community Radio as we talk with Rabbi Ariel Stone of Congregation Shir Tikvah and Jason Renaud with the Mental Health Alliance about their efforts to help distribute 1500 tents to homeless service providers in Portland.
There are about 1500 spaces in shelters in the county and an additional 3000 people who are both homeless and unsheltered. Those 1500 spaces are full. Sometimes there is space available in private shelters for people who agree to spend up to six months in relative seclusion or provide work for no pay. There is also space available at the old Wapato jail, which has no bus service, clients must be pre-screened by a separate social service agency, and they can’t have a pet, use drugs or alcohol, or need mental health support.
Tents enable people who are homeless to continue their lives. While many people have become homeless as a consequence of addiction, there are many reasons for addiction. There are also many supports that help addicts survive until they’re able to access effective treatment and get sober.
The city has refused to help unsheltered people remove trash - or get housing. Organizers say they plan to give the tents to responsible local social service agencies that have already established relationships with people who are homeless. They can determine best who needs a tent for temporary shelter. There are solutions but they require state, city, and county leaders who prioritize those solutions. Those associated with the Winter Tent Drive say their goal is to lessen some of the suffering for a few of their neighbors.
Prison Pipeline is a radio program dedicated to educating the public about the Oregon criminal justice system. Our goal is to present a unique understanding of the criminal justice system, address the root causes of crime, and challenge the status quo. We seek to promote awareness and activism in order to foster a safe, healthy, and just society. Tune in every Monday at 6:30 P.M. to hear our hosts Karen James, Adam Carpinelli, Emma Lugo, and Doug McVay explore the Oregon justice system with a variety of guests.
Links from Today’s Show:
Please feel free to connect with us with any questions, comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health Alliance: https://www.mentalhealthalliance.org/
JOIN (homeless outreach): https://joinpdx.org/about/