LETTERS: Two perspectives on need in Washington County
Stop panhandling in city of Sherwood
I am a resident of Sherwood since 1996. I love this city and would love to keep it safe, clean and free of panhandlers.
Recently I have noticed more individuals, with family or alone, at the corner of Langer Farms Parkway (Walmart parking lot) asking for money. We know that giving to panhandlers only makes the problem worse and invites more panhandling in the area. I know the natural inclination is to help, but please do not give out any money to panhandlers. It will invite more of them to our town.
The unemployment rate in the U.S.A. now is at is lowest since the past 40 years or so. Anyone can find a job in a matter of days and work and support him/herself without resorting to begging for help. The fact is anyone who is asking for freebees is either a lazy bum, a drug user or both.
Morteza Aleali, Sherwood
County becoming unaffordable for many
With inflation continuing with no end in sight, there is undoubtedly increased pressure being put on our low-income population to provide for themselves.
An ongoing issue has been around rent prices that have been steadily increasing at astronomical rates over the last 10-plus years.
Flash back 10 years ago when I rented my first apartment, I and my partner were able to rent a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment around 1,000 square feet for $850. A quick search into that very same apartment now turns up that it is currently renting for $1,942, more than a 100% increase in 10 years.
The issue becomes clear when we begin to compare the increases in rent with that of wages in the same area. The minimum wage in urban areas of Washington County has increased from $8.80 in 2012 to just $12.75 in July of last year (2021) and are set to increase again July 1 of this year to $13.50.
Furthermore, according to a living wage calculator produced by the Department of Urban Studies and Planning of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an actual living wage for a single person living with no children in Washington County is estimated to be $21.60.
However, the issue at hand is not one that can simply be resolved with an increase in wage. Part of the issue is that Washington County is a hot spot for development, with both Nike and Intel residing within its limits.
In order to prevent displacement of low-income individuals and families, we need to begin having serious discussions with our city representatives; discussions about how we can work together to come to a reasonable agreement on halting rental increases, as well as what measures we can take to prevent the displacement of those who not only live here but work here, providing necessary services.
Allison Beeson, Beaverton
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