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America, not just Portland is dealing with a homeless crisis. The reasons men, women and children are living on our streets are as diverse as the people themselves. The reality is no one aspires to live on the streets.
Are There Solutions to Portland's Homeless Crisis? by Jack Kerfoot
I equate our homeless crisis to a raging fire, that is out of control. The first record of an organized firefighting service was over 2,000 years ago in Rome. The service, called the "Corps of Vigiles," sounded the fire alarm, put out fires and enforced fire codes.
Why did the city of Rome organize a firefighting service? The Emperor, Augustus Caesar realized that without organization, training and collaboration the city would never be able to effectively address fires.
In many ways, our homeless crisis is far more complex than fighting a raging fire. Portland Fire and Rescue is a well-trained and highly organized department of professionals, led by Chief Sara Boone. Our city has literally, hundreds of charities working diligently to address our homeless crisis with limited coordination and collaboration.
Haven for Hope in San Antonio, Texas is recognized as one of, if not the best program to help the homeless. The city of San Antonio brought the private sector and charities together to develop this exceptional program. If we truly want to help our homeless, why can't Portland develop a program that has proven to be successful?
This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.
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