Our Opinion: Visible solution needed for homelessness



Our Opinion: Visible solution needed for homelessness

Some of the revenue raised by an increase in Portland's business license fee is supposed to help reduce homelessness. Portlanders will judge the effectiveness of this additional funding by what they see — on city sidewalks, along freeway corridors and in their neighborhoods.

If the visible evidence of homelessness is greatly reduced over time, then most Portlanders will conclude the city's initiatives are working. However, if tents and dysfunctional encampments are still common sights around the city next summer, businesses and residents will deem the program a failure.

To be clear, we support using a portion of the business license revenue to make headway on the homeless issue. Businesses, particularly in the city center, are harmed when the activities that accompany homelessness cause their customers to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. If the problem can be reduced, then businesses will be more successful and the extra fee will be well worth the cost.

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