To those of you who have never been homeless: You should be grateful. Not having a place to clean yourself, cook food or even go to the bathroom. What will you do to feel better in the worst time of your life?

Larger yachts visit, fancier condo’s are being built, even an 18-story building. Where does Portland go from here? A more important question is: Where do homeless people go?

A mega 200-person shelter may work as a warehouse. Staying in a shelter that large, with each person bringing trauma, may develop some unwanted problems. On Riverside Road, people may set up up encampment’s behind the shelter in the woods.

A 50-person homeless shelter will enable a person to spread out, have shorter lines for the showers, cook meals together, discuss things openly and get help to make their way out of a shelter and into a more dignified life. If I was a care worker, case manager, volunteer, therapist, family or teen, I would feel safer with a 50-bed shelter.

In a 50-bed shelter, you can become intimate with other humans. It is easier to evolve into someone who has a place to clean themselves up, take a shower and go to the bathroom. Imagine living in a large warehouse with 200 roommates. Think about what it would be like having 50 people in a dorm like setting.

If you have never been homeless, be thankful and be compassionate to those who have been.

Peter Brunette, II

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