Six Points of Homelessness
1. Research shows interventions to prevent homelessness are more cost effective than addressing issues after someone is already homeless. The longer a person is homeless, the harder and more expensive it to get them back in housing.
Clean-up, constant policing, ambulances and emergency rooms, crime, mental therapy and a long list of other reoccurring resources are costing our state millions. It’s time to be proactive.
2. Poverty, unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing. Those 3 issues are of utmost importance. There currently are administrative programs and social groups working relentlessly on this and I applaud them all. Thank you. It is very clear given our current situation that more needs to be done. My administration will engage in this matter right away.
3. Treating the homeless while still homeless is money poorly spent. They need a foundation on which to be nurtured. To rebuild from.
I believe we need to provide free long-term state or city-owned shelters with a full centralized sanitation station along with mental health or disability treatment, drug treatment and work training services to help give them that foundation to become a productive member of society. Well-built comfortable shelters can be made affordably and in large numbers. Getting them back on their feet is goal #1.
4. There will be those who will not accept the help needed to stay off the streets. For their own personal reasoning they will choose to remain homeless.
To those I say, please stay safe and acceptance of help. Oregon loves you. But it also must be stated: homeless encampments along residential streets, public parks or commercial walk-ways will no longer be tolerated. The trash that hangs around and is left behind will no longer be tolerated. Being drunk, belligerent or out of control in public will no longer be tolerated. I will work together with professional social workers and community advocates in order to make sure this will be a compassionate and benevolent process, but enforcement is a must in order for tax-paying residents to have any trust in Government.
5. We need to make it so Eugene and Portland are not so homeless-friendly. We can do this in a kind-hearted way, but it needs to be done. What we are seeing are homeless individuals from other states coming into Oregon’s big cities. This is not fair to our residents and our community. I will work with local leaders and together go over the laws and programs to confirm exactly what’s attracting the homeless to Oregon and what policies we can strengthen.
6. Higher Education. Mental Health. Drug Addiction. I strongly feel going into higher education immediately after high school is one of the most effective ways to reduce homelessness in the long run. As your governor, I will put a priority on raising the percentage of those going into higher education.
It has been proven that when a state allocates a higher percentage of its budget towards quality mental health treatment and services, it sees a lower percentage of mental health related costs and expenses on the back end.
As governor I will offer better options for keeping healthy bodies and minds active so they do not turn to drugs out of desperation, hopelessness, and a desire to be numb. These options include the arts, sports, healthy lifestyle programs or creating more job opportunities. It is also essential to offer high-quality treatment for those dependent on drug use.
It is worth noting, I will listen to the experts who have dedicated their lives to help end the homeless epidemic. These social angels who have spent years doing the research will be my advisors.
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