PortlandOnline

POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish
Nick responds to camping proposal criticisms with guest op-ed in the Business Journal - April 2, 2010

Nick contributed a guest opinion piece, "Compassionate homeless camping plan will spur new ideas," to today's Business Journal. His piece responds to an editorial the paper ran recently, "Homeless plan ignores problem," criticizing Nick's proposed guidelines to regulate camping on our streets.

 

"The good news is that we are making progress," Nick writes, noting that Portland's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is nationally recognized, that in five years we've moved 7,000 people from the streets into homes, and that the Portland Housing Bureau invests the City's money in proven solutions like permanent housing and the Resource Access Center.

 

Still, over 1,600 people slept outside last night. We can't provide shelter for everyone who needs it, and camping is a crime. His piece outlines the proposal and acknowledges that while we know camping is not the answer, the guidelines can "provide safety and accountability to homeless folks without other options."

 

Andy Giegerich's March 19 Business Journal story, "Homeless plan sparks heated debate," captures community feedback on the proposal. "While they don't think it's perfect," he writes, many Portland social service providers support the proposal. He remarks that Transition Projects, Inc., in Old Town, has an 11-week waiting list for its women's and men's shelters.

 

What do you think? Share your ideas with us at nick@portlandoregon.gov.

 

For links to these articles and more, video, and other documents, see our 'Camping' tab.