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How can we call ourselves civilized when we do not care for our elders, our sick, and our poor? We need to realize that the homeless are not going to go away by drawing imaginary lines in the dirt. If you support Portland Pedestrian Use Zones, what does this law serve to accomplish other than to divide us through prejudices? Race segregation and socio-economic segregation is still segregation no matter what language one chooses to use.

If you do not like the homeless problem, then let us start rounding up beds, drug and mental health support services, mentors, jobs, instead creating more boundaries amongst ourselves. These are our people! They are not litter that we can just sweep under a bridge and forget. They are someone’s mother, father, sister, brother. They are suffering and we are angry with them because we do not want to help, and it shames us, as it should.

Who wants a daily reminder of their shame as they go into their high-rise office, cater to the rich, chat with business associates or dine on fine foods? It is hard to be selfish and greedy in the face of suffering, is it not? So what is our solution? Rather than heed our consciences, we stubbornly march forward in a state of denial. It is not my problem. They need to take care of themselves. I have my own problems. If I just did not have to look at them every day, everything would be better. We do not mind if people suffer; we just want to ensure that we do not have to see it outside our television sets. Better to get them out of sight.

Our homeless need our help. They deserve our help. Suffering is like a virus, if we do nothing, it spreads. How sick do we have to get before we seek healing? Our people need us. Our people are sick. Some are dying. They cannot wait while we play hide-and-seek the homeless or city hall hopscotch. Great leaders understand compassion, tolerance, and compromise. Please, show us what this looks like.

Portland, Oregon Homeless, The following  song is for you.

\”No Sit-or Lie\” by Pinki Tuscaderro


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