Oregon has the illustrious honor of having second highest amount of homelessness in the United States. With almost 15,000 homeless in our state, with only California beating us. Oregon sits among the leaders due to a few factors; First of all, we have a very moderate climate, and being homeless, especially along the I-5 corridor the weather is favorable for living outdoors, with a good sleeping bag and a tent the weather, while wet is tolerable compared to the freezing conditions in the eastern part of the state. Second, our social programs benefiting the homeless are among the best in the nation, Homelessness in the United States rose 14% in the eight years under Obama, with a stagnant economy and increasing social programs the nation had this increase, despite cries from the left saying that increases in social spending would decrease homelessness. More than a thousand of the homeless in Oregon are Veterans, unable to find stable housing, work, or get the help they need for the mental health counseling. With Oregon decreased mental health spending, that has dwindled over the last ten years to a fraction of what it once was, this was just a matter of time. With the looming crisis of PERS on the horizon for Oregon, I fear this crisis will be put on the back burner yet again. If you keep making Oregon a great place to be homeless, the numbers will increase.
Written by Marie