Portland, you still have a problem.
It's been a while since I posted something. I have been pretty caught up with work, a strong start to my new skate brand Quartet Skateboards, family time, and many other things.
Yet still, every single day in downtown Portland I see the homeless crisis continuing to go unaddressed. Camps are getting worse in various parts of town, the numbers seem to be growing, and the city has yet to propose any worthwhile solution.
I watched a good 20 people or so walk by this fellow without even glancing over at him. I eventually walked up and hung out for a minute because he was moving a little bit, but not much. I have seen a fair amount of unresponsive folks in downtown, but this one kind of scary because he clearly keeled over in his seat. My best bet was that he was on something really heavy and just succumbed to the high.
I guess small businesses are cleaning up? Too bad for "Vape Spot" next door... no more lunch break smoking and stroking.
Another gentlemen just completely out while a huge breast cancer awareness dance event was happening in Pioneer Square. A few coins found their way into his cup...
This guy clocked out right in the middle of a crowded lunch hour. To people's credit, they were dropping off food next to him.
I've seen the guy get progressively worse. Now in the rainy season I will arrive in downtown in the mornings and half of the time I see him wrapped up in a wet blanket wandering around aimlessly.
It was pretty heartbreaking to see a man of this age left out in the streets. I have no idea what his circumstances are, but he didn't seem too rough. Still, found a place to sleep in the middle of a park near Powell's books, likely nowhere else to go.
I can't remember this guy's name. I spoke with him and he actually does a lot of work with an advocacy group. It wasn't Street Roots, but it was something fairly similar.
I think these folks were hit with a mixture of heat and intoxicants. They were not budging whatsoever.
I think this guy was a veteran. He was talking to himself a lot, shaking his head a bunch, and was clearly fighting off some sort of demons... PTSD? I'm sure us skateboarding relatively close to him didn't really help.
"CareOregon Advantage".... yeah, let's talk about that.
This is Doug and holy hell he was a happy guy. I don't think he was all there but he didn't seem to be upset about a damn thing. I gave him some cash, shook his hand, and asked if I could shoot his photo. He was more than happy to offer a smile.
I hung out with these guys while waiting for some food. Kirby was the pug and he was getting a lot of love from the folks walking around. These guys were the victims of some situation, probably different for each of them, but they weren't down in the dumps either. For as horrible as it is to see so many homeless individuals being neglected, shunned, and battling the depression that can come with those things, it is really nice to see the people who are also doing everything in their power to better their situations.