Why Is There So Much Portland Homeless?

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Portland Homeless

Portland homeless is a topic that many people are fascinated and interested in.  There are many different perspectives on this subject. Here is an article that covers the different perspectives that homelessness in Portland is not always due to economic reasons. It is also not due to drug abuse, alcoholism, or poor parenting. This article is not intended to give a different perspective of the reasons why Portland homeless are in the homeless system. Many people have different perspectives on this subject. Below are my personal views and opinion on Portland’s homeless problem. The major reason for homelessness in Portland is the lack of spending on the mental health care system. Many people who are mentally ill, have substance abuse problems and many with autism and other disabilities do not receive enough spending in the Oregon Department of Health Portland Bureau of Developmental Disabilities.

In 1973, the community mental health program was created to decrease the number of patients in state hospitals and to reduce the number of people on county psychiatric rolls. In 1972, there were 8,500 patients in 13 state mental institutions. By the end of 1976, the number of Oregonians with mental illness had decreased by more than 50 percent. The number of mentally ill was reduced from 8,600 to 2,000 (just under 1 percent).

What has changed Portland homeless in the past thirty years?

One new development is the growth of mental illness and its impact on families. About one in four Americans suffer from a mental disorder during their lives. One in five Americans will experience at least one episode of mental illness during their lifetimes. About 60 percent of those will involve a psychiatric disorder.

In the last three decades, living expenses have increased five times, while family income has grown only 3.5 times. The cost of housing and food, in particular, has skyrocketed.

In 2003, the average monthly rent for a studio apartment in Portland was $669; the average rental house was $1,068. The average monthly rent is now $1,330 for a studio and $2,243 for a house. Total household income in Portland was $21,545. That’s $3,436 less than the average income of all Americans.

The lack of spending on the mental health care system is a huge reason why so many people with mental illness, have addiction problems and many with autism and other disabilities are homeless. The second reason is the lack of spending on the mental health care system.

Many people who are mentally ill, have substance abuse problems and many with autism and other disabilities do not receive enough spending in the Oregon Department of Health Portland Bureau of Developmental Disabilities.

Homeless out of control

As Portland homeless population increased, so did homeless traffic crimes and criminal activity in the city. Between 2006 and 2009, the number of people cited for misdemeanor offenses in downtown Portland increased by 60 percent.

Between 2009 and 2011, police reports of crimes deemed as “homeless behavior” increased by 44 percent. During that time, police reports of crimes deemed “homeless behavior” increased by 22 percent.

Portland’s homeless crisis is getting worse. Police reports of violent crimes against people with mental illness more than doubled on the east side. Plus, police reports of crimes against homeless adults with mental illness more than doubled on the east side. Between 2009 and 2011, police reports of crimes deemed “homeless behavior” increased by 44 percent. Portland’s homeless crisis is getting worse.

Homeless and criminal activity

The Portland police are very aware of a large number of mentally ill and those with substance abuse problems that are on the streets of our city. Portland homeless have also become involved in criminal activity at a greater rate than ever before. The number of people who commit larceny in downtown Portland increased by 70 percent in 2009, and the number of people arrested for larceny increased by 55 percent the same year.

There have been a great number of crimes committed against homeless individuals. These crimes include basic assaults, harassment, sex abuse, and other forms of physical abuse. These incidents often involve transients who are suffering from mental health problems and use drugs or alcohol.

Portland homeless is a major problem with the shame and embarrassment of people who want to hide their mental illness and drug problems. Homeless people are often ridiculed for their actions. The police become involved when these crimes are committed. The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) had to increase its services for homeless mentally ill people and those with substance abuse problems.

Portland has the largest number of homeless children in the state. The city of Portland has over nineteen thousand homeless children. Over twenty percent of all youth in Portland are homeless, and the number is growing. Homelessness in Portland has been increasing. The general population also suffers from homelessness to some degree.

Downtown traffic citations are increasing

Between 2006 and 2009, the number of Portland homeless people cited for misdemeanor offenses in downtown Portland increased by 60 percent. Between 2009 and 2011, police reports of crimes deemed as “homeless behavior” increased by 44 percent. A recent report found more than five people are cite a day in downtown Portland for trespassing or loitering while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The majority of those citations were issue to homeless people. The number of people cited for trespassing increased by 140 percent downtown during the same time period.

Street behavior is not always illegal

Police officers are trying to help the Portland homeless mentally ill and drug addicts get help. Officers are trying to help the homeless with mental illness get help. Police officers are trying to help the homeless with mental illness get off the streets and into treatment programs. The police do not want to arrest the homeless mentally ill or drug addicts. But there are exceptions.

Some people do not seek treatment. They break into homes, businesses, and vehicles. Goons harass and threaten citizens in the downtown area and throughout the city. They commit property crimes and other offenses. They disturb the peace of other citizens who want to enjoy the downtown area.

Many of these crimes are consider misdemeanors, not felonies. They can result in jail sentences for repeat offenders, but the penalties are still fairly minimal in most cases.


Opinions expressed by Portland News contributors are their own.

Donald Walter

Donald is a hardworking business owner and a current associate editor of an online magazine. He also loves to binge read novels and watch documentaries.

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