The Oregonian is currently running a series focused on homelessness in our community. Many of the organizations we work closely with are featured in this report, and it is a stark reminder that there really is no other place like Rose Haven. There are some eye opening figures, especially when you look at how Portland compares to other large cities. Keep in mind that these numbers are always low because those who are suffering from loss of home are mobile and not easily found (furthermore many go to great lengths to stay invisible). Officials believe the homeless population in Portland is as much as four times the reported amount, especially because the counts are conducted in the winter.
Although Portland comes in 5th nationally for the highest number of reported homeless individuals (under only DC, Boston, San Francisco and New York), we come in 2nd to last nationally for the number of emergency beds. This sheds light on the question of why our homeless population is so visible, because they simply have no place to go.
There is also a component of this that brings voice to the unhoused community themselves, such as the #whereIsleptPDX photography moment. This multifaceted report is worth the time to read in its entirety, and is ongoing, so look forward to more on this front!