Nothing new here ["The Real World: Portland," WW, Aug. 7, 2013]. It's the same old story about how many of the people who are on the street remain there by choice.
They would rather abuse drugs or alcohol or both than take any real responsibility for their lives. Sleeping under a tree all day and begging or stealing is preferable to working for many of these folks.
Portland rolled out the doormat for the homeless years ago, and we have a reputation up and down the West Coast as the place to crash if you're homeless. I think the city and community should clean up the streets by offering help to the people who really want it, and showing the door to those who don't.
I have worked downtown for many years and see the same "kids" begging for bus money day after day, month after month. Funny how they never seem to take that bus out of town. I guess it's just too lucrative sitting outside Starbucks begging for money than to get a job.
It's hard to feel sympathetic for these particular people after having read this story. Some of these folks are fine, some are clearly where they want to be, others seem to be downright screw-ups with poor impulse control and terrible decision-making.
That said, I feel like the homeless population in general is being unfairly blamed for most of the crime downtown. I'm pretty sure most crime, especially alcohol-related, can be attributed to weekend bar-hoppers and clubgoers.
I wonder if the intent of this piece was to create sympathy toward the homeless, or to make them look like a bunch of idiots who continue to make horrible choices in their lives. Because I came away from it feeling like the city needs to get tougher with these fools, not provide them with more services.
Many, many people are a paycheck away from homelessness. We could end up in their shoes tomorrow. This is our problem, and it cannot be ignored or legislated away.
NOT DIGESTING OUR REVIEW
This was a pretty mean-spirited review ["A Broken Spoke," WW, Aug. 7, 2013]. Maybe WW hit an off night, or maybe the reviewer was having a bad night? We've eaten at Township & Range twice. Both times the food and service were excellent. We had the fried chicken, and it was crunchy on the outside and moist inside—just how we like it. We definitely plan to visit again.
Last week's cover story on the city's homeless, "The Real World: Portland," attributed a quote to Joel David Young that is a lyrical verse from the John Prine song "Angel From Montgomery." The lyrics are: "To believe in this living is just a hard way to go."
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