Our readers also express themselves about the increasing number of homeless students, Commissioner Chloe Euday and the Kenton Village homeless camp for women

In "PCC students make case for all-gender campus restrooms" (Nov. 23), Blair Stenvick portrayed the article clearly and thoughtfully. As an international student at Portland Community College, I know that it's a really hard time for some students who identify themselves as nonbinary. And the most important personal demand is using the restroom.

Normally, there always are male and female restrooms in most schools or colleges. It makes the people who aren't male or female feel nonexistent. So I agree that all colleges should add more all-gender restrooms for them — adding, not reducing. They should make three different restrooms as male, female and all-genders.

Moreover, I think safety is the bottom line that they need to pay attention to. Some people don't feel comfortable using restrooms with men. In addition, some people have their own personal issues and demands. So if they need to have all-gender restrooms, I think colleges need to pay more attention to them.

Jessica Le

Southeast Portland

Create communities for homeless students

I am writing this letter in response to Shasta Kearns Moore's article "Homeless student number sets record" (Nov. 23). I would like to share some ideas about this issue, and what we can do to reduce this problem.

One of the main issues is violence at home. I think that is where everything starts. Most of the children are scared of their parents, see them fighting, maybe because they have drug or alcohol problems, and they are not themselves anymore and start beating their children. Of course, especially if they are young, these kids don't know what to do or how to react and the only way that they have is to leave the house and never come back.

My suggestion would be to do more research about these families, and then create more communities that encourage children to go there and accept their help. What would be the main point of these communities? Well first of all, to help the children talk about what happened and explain everything.

Like you said in your article "children doubled-up with other families or other temporary housing." I guess that this "temporary" situation would make them feel worried and keep thinking about that, and they have to leave after a short of period of time and be homeless again.

I suggest to take in consideration the idea of adoption after they go through the community's process. In this way they will not be worried about the future and finally have a good life.

Donatella Milella

Northwest Portland

Blaming media an amateur move

Portland city Commissioner Chloe Eudaly must learn the difference between "fake leadership" and "fake news" before she can earn the trust and respect of her constituents.

Blaming the media for her shortcomings is a poor (though accurate) reflection of her character. Unfortunately, this type of official is what Portland gets when amateurs are elected to positions beyond their capabilities.

Dave Murray


Restroom safety a priority

I was surprised that PCC did not have all-gender restrooms at its campuses, because I was looking forward to finding a lot of respectful things toward all identities in the United States. I strongly agree with adding all-gender restrooms.

However, having all-gender restrooms may cause some troubles if PCC doesn't have three kinds of restrooms — men, women and all users — at the same place.

I am really worried about sex crimes occurring at PCC campuses. I had an experience, which did not happen here, when a man came out from a women's restroom. Even if the men's restroom was crowded at that time, I did not feel safe and comfortable to use the same restroom.

Although it is a really good thing to add all-gender restrooms, to be safe, PCC should consider any expectable trouble to get rid of concerns women have.

If PCC provides something to protect women from crimes or problems, a lot of students, even women, will agree with this change. Lastly, I am an international student from Japan, so I hope this kind of change affects not only PCC but also other public spaces. I support this change as one of PCC's students, because I believe that America, which has great effects on other countries, will lead people to respect each other and each identity.

Kozue Nakasone

Northeast Portland

Tiny home village a dismal flop

As a longtime resident of the Kenton/Arbor Lodge neighborhood (four generations), I find the Nov. 16 article on the Kenton homeless camp as sad as it is funny. What's sad are the number of omissions in the article. The "cracks" referred to are more like fissures that have grown since this idea was conceived. While some in the Kenton Neighborhood Association dismiss the gravity of the situation and Catholic Charities ducks responsibility, the Kenton community witnesses reality each week.

Drug trafficking and syringe debris are now far more visible. More tents can be seen near the tiny homes. More panhandling and feces on business doorsteps are part of Denver Avenue. Families now defer taking their kids to the beautiful park adjacent the camp. Property crimes are on the rise, as more locals report car break-ins and bike theft.

Catholic Charities gets $150,000 from the government (taxpayers) to operate the homeless camp. They state they're needing more money and say they believe that (undetermined amount) cash will come from reimbursing sources. Reimbursing sources? What's that?

The tiny homes are too cold and the occupants describe them as "ice boxes." The solar panels are so inefficient they don't produce enough energy to power an electric blanket for 15 minutes. Part of the problem is cloud cover. Apparently, the creators of the Kenton location didn't take Portland weather into consideration when the architecture of the camp was developed.

There is an obvious sorrow attached to some of the homeless people who flock to Portland. Their numbers grow, even as the economy gains speed and creates jobs at an unprecedented rate.

What passes for elected leadership in our area not only defines our lack of direction, it encourages more homelessness, which in turn falls on the shoulders of taxpaying citizens.

Jim Speirs

North Portland

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