A group of homeless advocates has unveiled examples of a long-brewing plan to create extremely low-cost emergency housing as a temporary remedy while longer term solutions to regional homelessness are sought.
My hometown, Portland, Ore., has a serious homelessness problem. Portland is often called the City of Bridges — more than a dozen cross the Willamette and Columbia rivers — and beneath almost all, at one time or another, one sees miserable-looking camps constructed of tents, plastic tarps, and shopping carts. It's impossible to avoid running into homeless people downtown, where ragged people sleep on park benches and in doorways.
We don’t think that anyone should be sleeping on the streets, or in shelters. We think everyone should be housed. And please remember that homelessness is not just an issue for those of us without housing. The housing crisis hurts us all, from the people who can’t afford housing to the people trapped in sub-standard, dangerous, overcrowded or threatened housing, to the professionals who pay so much of their income toward rent that their life options are dramatically limited.
You’d never guess that Victor Darilek is homeless. His hair is short, kept in a military-style buzz cut and his clothes—a polo shirt, Padres jacket, jeans and white sneakers—could be any guy’s casual outfit. He’s been at San Diego’s emergency homeless shelter for less than two days after spending three weeks on the street.