It's a classic movie scene: a hungry homeless person peering through the glass at a happy family enjoying a delicious meal in a warm house. This is what it is like, but worse, for the people living on the streets in Portland during the pandemic.
Why do big, fancy hotels with rich owners get fat checks but the poorest people struggling to survive in a sidewalk tent get a big fat zero? It is completely unfair and immoral that the people who need the most help are instead facing sweeps by the government and the possibility of losing the little they own (including precious mementos, identification documents and medicines).
Please, city of Portland and Multnomah County, do the humane, compassionate, creative thing and immediately open empty hotels/motels to all those who need temporary homes during the pandemic. It's a win-win-win. Hotels/motels make some money, their workers earn a salary and at-risk people live a safer, healthier life. It's a model that is working at the Jupiter Hotel and can work all over the city.
This is what many houseless people want. This will help clean up sidewalks. This will make Portland more livable for everyone, not just for those with all the resources.
Everyone deserves a soft bed in a warm house (or hotel/motel.) Act now.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.