Frustrated residents in Dem-led Portland are selling their HOMES as homeless people set up camps outside their front doors in suburban neighborhoods
- Residents of Portland are selling their homes due to the homeless epidemic that is ravaging the city
- Some homeowners say they are ‘scared’ to leave the house due to untreated mental illness in the homeless communities
- They have asked the city for help, and the city has set up Safe Rest Villages, a program that shelters homeless people in designated lots
- The homeless crisis is exacerbated by the worsening drug crisis, as hard drugs are decriminalized in the state
- Police report seeing drug users inject and smoke drugs in the street, with overdose deaths reaching new highs
Homeless encampments have grown severely in certain neighborhoods in North Portland, particularly along the Peninsula Crossing Trail.
The trail was once a popular bike route but has become home to a large population of homeless people including some who suffer from mental illness and some who use drugs.
One realtor in the area said that she’s seen a surge of residents moving to the suburbs over the past two years.
‘Most people don’t want to have to worry about if they can leave their car parked in their driveway overnight without maybe having it broken into,’ Lauren Iaquinta told KGW8.
The real estate broker said it’s a ‘testy subject,’ and said the issue can be unpredictable due to homeless people settling down wherever they want.
Homeless encampments have crept into residential neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon, forcing homeowners to leave the areas
Tents line the streets as the crisis grows, worsened by a drug crisis that was caused partly by Oregon becoming the first state in the country to decriminalize many hard drugs
One man grimaces in pain as he shows the bandage on a gunshot wound as he sits on the street after his hospital release in Portland
Two men share cigarettes and water with a homeless person who struggles to stay cool during the humid Oregon summer
‘It’s neighborhood by neighborhood. You can be driving through North Portland, and you’re in this lovely area where there’s no issues, and then you can make a turn around the corner and have homeless camps there,’ she said.
Oregon’s Lax Limits for Hard Drugs
Under the new Oregon law that went into effect in February 2021, offenders caught with the following drug amounts can avoid criminal charges:
- Less than 1 gram of heroin
- Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA
- Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine
- Less than 40 units of LSD
- Less than 12 grams of psilocybin
- Less than 40 units of methadone
- Less than 40 pills of oxycodone
- Less than 2 grams of cocaine
Offenders caught with the following amounts of drugs will be charged with misdemeanor simple possession, rather than a felony:
- 1 to 3 grams of heroin
- 1 to 4 grams of MDMA
- 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine
- 2 to 8 grams of cocaine
Iaquinta said the change in Portland is noticeable and called the worsening conditions ‘kind of sad.’
‘I’ve been doing this for 10 years here in Portland, and it’s changed quite a bit,’ she said.
One homeowner reportedly said the ‘community is at its wit’s end’ over the crisis, and locals are calling on the city to deal with the issue.
Another said they were concerned about those in the camps with untreated mental illness and said it was ‘scary.’
One solution the city offers is the Safe Rest Villages program, which is designed to provide monitored spaces for homeless people to live until they are back on their feet.
The website describes the program as ‘an assortment of alternative shelters available to serve as an improved point of entry for Portlanders on the continuum from living on the streets to finding stability in permanent housing.’
Matt Lembo, a board member for one of those shelters called Beacon Village, said ‘we have to recognize the real scope of the problem. It’s multifaceted. It’s not just a housing crisis, it’s not just a humanitarian crisis, it’s also a drug crisis. It’s all of these things.’
The drug crisis in Portland, especially among homeless communities, has become unmanageable for authorities in the area.
Photos show the desperate situation in the liberal Pacific Northwest city, where people can be seen shooting up drugs or passed out in broad daylight.
Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone, and other drugs after voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs.
A person found with personal amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs receives a citation, like a traffic ticket, with the maximum $100 fine waived if they call a hotline for a health assessment.
The state’s program, which has been promoted as a way to establish and fund addiction recovery centers that would offer people aid instead of incarceration, is being watched as a potential model for other states.
Drug overdose deaths in Oregon also hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020
Photos show the desperate situation in the Pacific Northwest city, where people can be seen shooting up drugs or passed out in broad daylight
A woman enters the Great Circle drug treatment center in Salem, Oregon
As the city deals with a rising homelessness problem, more than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services through funding from Measure 110, designed to provide treatment
But drug overdose deaths in the state also hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020, Fox News reported.
And of the 1,885 people who received tickets for personal possession in the first year, only 91 people, a measly one percent, called the hotline, according to its non-profit operator, Lines For Life.
Those behind the scheme admitted that they had underestimated the effort required to distribute the $300 million in funds for the program, and only $40 million has been spent.
‘So clearly, if we were to do it over again, I would have asked for much more staff much quicker in the process,’ said Steve Allen, Oregon’s behavioral health director.
‘We were just under-resourced to be able to support this effort, underestimated the work that was involved in supporting something that looked like this, and partly we didn’t fully understand it until we were in the middle of it.’
The ballot measure redirected millions of dollars in tax revenue from the state’s legal marijuana industry to treatment.
More than 16,000 Oregonians have accessed services through Measure 110 funding, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, which spearheaded the measure.