The more they spend, the worse it gets: Portland-area homeless count up 21%

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon Foundation,

You are correct if you think there are more homeless in the Portland region now than a year ago.

According to data released by Multnomah County, the number of unsheltered homeless has increased by 21% in the past year. Unsheltered homeless are the people you see sleeping in their cars, in parks, in ramshackle RVs, or clogging the sidewalks with tents and tarps.

This is despite the Metro regional government’s two new income taxes that were expected to bring in more than $200 million a year to reduce homelessness. It seems the more they spend, the worse things get.

Multnomah County takes credit for reducing the number of “chronic” homeless by 16%. But, the county shouldn’t be patting itself on the back too hard. That’s because, last year they handed out 22,700 tents to encourage people to sleep on the streets and stay out of shelters.