Why Most Occupied RVs Park on Portland’s Eastside

And other details that didn’t make it into this week’s WW cover story on vehicle residency.

You know that feeling when your eyes glaze over and you scroll through pages and pages of an essay, just barely skimming it to get the gist? That’s how I read every single news article about homelessness in Portland.

Why? Because for so many years, it’s the same damn story. X many people are hurting. Our city failed to do Y to help. But this latest cover story from Willamette Week hit me a little differently.

Freelance journalist Thacher Schmid brought us a close look into the lives of a subset of the homeless community: people who live in their cars. While these thousands of Portlanders are struggling mightily with addiction, accidental death, and the other side effects that come from living on the sides of freeways, they are also getting overlooked as our city works to tackle homelessness.

In this story, Thacher strikes a chord between telling human interest stories and giving an insight into City Hall’s plans to solve a piece of Portland’s most pressing issue. Part profile, part research paper. We ask him about his story in the latest episode of Willamette Week’s podcast.

He offers some details that didn’t make it into the story, including the surprising reason why so many occupied RVs are parked on the east side of the Willamette River.

Episode 56 is streaming now.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Spotify.

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