Some people have occasion to know persons who are homeless and they develop an understanding perspective. Many, no doubt, have felt concern that there seem to be so many who are continuously in need of shelter, and they worry that Portland is something of a draw for people because it does provide the most decent service possible regionally – to the credit of Portland.

It is disturbing that no matter how many persons are enabled to find a housing situation that works for them, there are always more who are not. Some have mental health and/or substance abuse issues that have not been successfully addressed. Our society has programs, but there are still needs. As well, there is insufficient housing that people can afford.

A larger percentage of people only seek shelter for short periods of crisis in their lives, and fortunately, they seem to find improved arrangements – with considerable help from various agencies and dedicated workers who patiently address the human beings and their needs.

This commotion from the state about who will pay for shelter services is out of proportion to the amount of money spent on shelter services as a percentage of total state expenditures.

To address the issue of persons with money in the bank who are staying at a homeless shelter: The state says the city of Portland, and not the state, should pay for this, whatever the amount.

Before that decision is made, anyone critical of letting people stay in the shelter – any critic, either a government official or a resident – that person may be allowed an exception and may spend a night in the city shelter. Just do it.

Grace Braley


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