We recently moved back to the Portland, Maine, area from Portland, Oregon, where we have been for the past 13 years. This fairly large city in Oregon was a beautiful place to be, with many parks, activities and a wonderful downtown. Over the past few years, it has become exactly the opposite. More than 800 tents adorn city sidewalks, with more than 6,700 homeless people in our former county alone.

People camp in tents next to the Interstate 405 freeway in Portland, Ore., on March 31. The city council is expected to vote June 7 on a proposal that would ban camping on public property from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and introduce stricter rules on camping during all other hours. Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Portland, Oregon, has totally enabled the homeless population while leaving the taxpayers out of the equation. They decreased the number of police so they can no longer do their job, as well as decriminalized the possession of hard drugs. This is exactly the opposite of what I believe Portland, Maine, should do.

Give people a hand up, but not a “handout.” People should be accountable for their behavior, and the criminal element should be dealt with. Why change your behavior when you can get free meals and not be accountable? Please, Portland, make good choices regarding homelessness. Don’t make the same mistake as our namesake on the West Coast.

Scott Mullen
Ocean Park

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