Monday, July 18, 2005

They don't have a home but they have a great website...

Welcome to Dignity Virtual Village
On December 16th of the year 2000, a group of eight homeless men and women pitched five tents on public land and Camp Dignity, later to become Dignity Village, was born...
This was back when public officials were saying they would only be there for a few months. Four and a half years later...

After hearing the conversations today about the homeless on today's Lars Larson Show I decided to highlight some of the "successes" of Portland's homeless solutions.

As pictured HERE the residents of "Camp Dignity" are capable of stealing grocery carts, just not getting jobs.

The residents of Dignity Village also prefer the safety of large numbers and anonymity when committing "acts of civil disobediance." For those of us in the real world, this means they break things that other people actually paid for. Also known as a "crime." The "Dignites" have no empathy since they don't actually experience any feelings of ownership. See PICTURE.

Sometimes hungry "Dignites" eat the lice from other resident's hair... PICTURE

Rest assured that if you were to try this without a permit on your own property the city would shut you down pronto. PICTURE

A great aerial shot to really give you perspective. PICTURE

These people are living on ODOT property, that is, property owned by the taxpayers. They have ramshackle buildings that are fire hazards and not up to any building code. They are provided with a source of electricity and water at taxpayer expense. Some of the individuals here obviously could get work, they simply choose not to.

At what point to we tell these people that they can't live by their own rules? Why is there a double standard for the hardworking citizens when it comes to building permits, regulations, and the use of public lands? If you park on the street 5 minutes too long you get a ticket. These people have been parked for more than four and a half years. Utter nonsense.

13 comments:

(Doxxiegirl) said...

Washington also has tent villages. It is really a disgrace and we are doing a disservice to these people by allowing them to continue to live in these "villages". We are enabling them from getting jobs and providing homes and food to their families and themselves on their own.
I realize that those of us, who have, should give to those who have not, but on the same hand...the fable of the grasshopper and the ant, says it all...the ant worked and worked and saved all year to take care of himself, while the grasshopper sat around, played, and didnt prepare for the future. The ant flourished and the Grasshopper perished...such is life.
Giving someone a helping hand to help them move forward in life is great, as long as they move forward and dont stay where they are, assuming that we will continue to help them out.
I worked 3 jobs to go through college...didnt ask for help, I did it myself...I waitressed and washed dishes, and did whatever job I needed to move forward in life. We need to a be a society that encourages greatness in people and not mediocrity.

Jay said...

On the mark, Doxxie. This whole "Village" thing is just too much, and it really does seem like mocking those who have worked all their lives. Gosh, I'd love it if the City would pay for my electricity like it does for those in the "village". Oh, but I imagine they'll give us all free electricity once Sten and his buddies buy Portland General Electric for $3 billion.

PollyAnna said...

Great Musing Daniel.The Situation is beyond ridiculous.I used to work in an area teaming with homeless people.When i asked one,who i had seen repeatedly over the years,"why dont you work",his reply was,with a big grin, "why should i? As long as people want to give me money i'll take it."
For Many,Being Homeless is a Choice.There are and always will be people who live this way and roam as they go and head to cities they know will support them in this lifestyle.Solution? A "Helping Hand Up" in monitered stages with the goal of a job and a room to rent, then they are on their own.We already have programs that do this.People who are serious about living a better life enter the programs.Get rid of the Tent Cities. Let the others "Roam" to another State.

Terry said...

According to reports over the past 20 years, a significant number of the homeless - around 15 percent, as consistently reported - actually are employed and have jobs. What is your solution to employed homelessness? And why do you casually lump them in with all the bums and druggies and wackos and winos?

Terry said...

Oh, and people working for minimum wage are often chronically at risk of becoming homeless when the next rent increase comes. These people can enter a "program" but if their income is stagant, only a short-term problem is addressed. Of course, a "Pollyanna" looks only at the bright side.

Terry said...

As for the double standard with regard to building permits, regulations, etc, I agree, no double standard. Lars has complained loudly and often about his "safety" concerns at Dignity Village. Sure, it's way below code. But you know what? Nobody has died there because it wasn't up to code. So I ask you: are the codes there for the benefit of the poor, or for the benefit of the middle class? What moral right do we have to impose middle class housing standards on those who work for minimum wage? So let the private sector provide below-code housing to the working poor. More liberty, less regulation. People complain about "skinny houses". I want to buy or lease a smaller piece of land (say, 30 by 50) and build a shack on it, to be improved as resources permit. Do you want liberty, or do you just want the poor to go somewhere else?

Castro de la raza said...

Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the earth.

Call yourselves christians? Read your bibles a little more closely.

Daniel said...

A lot of talk about the minimum wage here. If you make minimum wage then obviously you need to improve your skills, eductation, work ethic, etc. The minimum is just that, a starting point. People need to progress beyond that. And Castro, the bible also says that if you don't work then you don't eat. I'm fine with private charity but homeless camps are a public policy and a disgrace.

Sailor Republica said...

Blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT.

Damn, what a moron.

Terry said...

Okay, Daniel, I have no money and cannot borrow, so going back to school isn't an option for me. And many professions have erected impenetrable barriers to those who cannot afford the right education. I have a college degree and two of my co-workers also have college degrees, and we all earn minimum wage.

(Doxxiegirl) said...

Ok..first of all...Castro...please please please...educate yourself before you continue to blog...you really need to get all your info written down in front of you, so you have it on hand before you start typing on other peoples blogs...and to counter argue your whole Christian point..."Judge not, lest ye be judged"...hypocrit.

Next...Terri...quite your whining...there are hundreds of opportunities out there to recieve low income funding for people that want retraining for the work field. There are grants for colleges, there are weekend jobs you can get, there is financial aid..there are ways to get back into school. I get sick of people whining about what they CANT do..and not doing what they CAN! I worked 3 jobs and put myself through college...so whine elsewhere. Also...you know, you must make ok money..or have a job with a computer..if you are able to blog, you must have the internet, which costs money..so if you are poor, but are spending your money on the net...then you must not be that poor...that is my other beef...people that complain about not having money, but yet, they buy frivilous things, that are not needed...ie: cell phones, the net, alcohol, smokes, go to bars, etc...

If you are employed, but are living in a tent on SOMEONE ELSE'S property....that should be considered trespassing...in fact, there should be harsher reprecussions on those people, than on the people that ARE unemployed...second of all..look in your paper..every day...is there ever a day when you read the classified that there are not jobs available? Nope...there are jobs out there..people are just lazy and dont want to work...they would rather continue sucking off the teet of the State, and not be responsible for themselves. Moral right to impose living standards!?!? Hello Terry...these people are homeless living on STATE...do ya hear me..STATE property!!! we pay for that...our tax dollars pay for that...as far as I am concerned..if they can live there...then what the hell...I am going to build my next house, WITHOUT any building codes..cause hey they dont need them....on a piece of state property..cant tell me no...cause hey...if they can, why cant i!

Did ya even think about your arguments before you typed them? Or do ya really think you have something here?

Terry said...

Sorry, I really think I have something here. I'm not talking about squatters on public property (not primarily, at least), I'm talking about people who enter into contracts (or would enter into contracts if government didn't void the contracts) in the private sector. Within the last week I read or heard something about a homeowner who had "too many" people living on her property. (Are you going to trot out the tired line about "health and safety"? Exactly how is it less safe and less healthful for a person to live in an overcrowded house than in the gutter or a doorway?) Liberty and property rights went out the window there, apparently.

And, yes, I worked multiple jobs to work my way through college, earning 90 percent of my expenses, and borrowing the other 10 percent. At one point I had four jobs, although one probably doesn't count because it involved directing traffic at college home football games (pre and post), which is to say it was extremely part time. I do not have a car, which rules out a lot of jobs. (Even Lars has noted the importance of having a car in employment and earning capacity.) I am hooked up to a dialysis machine three mornings a week, which pretty much rules out typical 9-to-5 jobs. And I've looked into grants and financial aid and I cannot get any. I bought a cheap ($175) used PC and pay $9.95 a month to go online. I found the money to do this - you'll *like* this - by giving up the daily fishwrapper, which I can read for free at work. And yes, there are a lot of jobs out there, but most require specialized skills, and there are very few jobs for unskilled pre-law graduates, especially those who are no longer spring chickens.

dooberheim said...

Building codes benefit city bureaucracies and union labor. They make is so inspectors have jobs (and some can get bribes). Many codes we have here are absolute overkill. They simply make sure that a lot of people have jobs.