On Martin Luther King Day it was reported an infant, possibly only hours old, had died in a homeless camp near a bus stop in downtown Portland, Oregon. First responders rushed the baby to OHSU, but it was too late. Reports were inconclusive as to whether the child was in fact stillborn, or died shortly after in what has become one of the most severe winters in what’s normally a very mild boreal climate.
This is certainly a tragic confluence of lack of mental health and homeless services, as well as an immediate incapability to shelter Portland’s thousands of homeless people when temperatures take a sudden plunge.
But even deeper is the problem of sky-rocketing rents, out of state developers pushing speculation in rental markets, a lack of affordable housing, and a booming cycle of new unaffordable condo construction.
— Aaron Mesh (@AaronMesh) January 17, 2017