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    Homeless persons belongings in a shopping cart in a sidewalk -cm

    The ‘Clackamas Way’ for Tackling Homelessness

    With Oregon racking up one of the nation’s highest homelessness rates, no county in Oregon has been unaffected by this harrowing epidemic. It’s a statewide issue. Just a few years ago, Multnomah County and Clackamas County were in a similar position. After taking two very different paths to solve the problem of homelessness, the results speak for themselves.

    The Portland Model – informed by politics, ideology, and idealism – has overseen skyrocketing homelessness numbers with a 20% jump in 2023 alone. In stark contrast, the “Clackamas Way”, which is driven by common sense, results-oriented solutions, and the will of the people, has reduced chronic homelessness by 45%.

    Instead of tossing taxpayer money at the problem, the Clackamas County Commission pulled together experts from around the country to ensure our strategies for tackling homelessness were effective, fiscally responsible, and realistic. We drew upon the expertise of local, state, and national thought leaders, nonprofits, elected officials, community volunteers, faith leaders, and business representatives to ensure everyone had a voice in our eventual solution.

    When the first tentacle of Portland’s failed homelessness initiatives slithered into view, the commission listened to Clackamas residents by drawing a bright red line at the county border. We’ve developed functional housing programs as part of a comprehensive homelessness strategy that offers shelter when people are ready for that crucial step, not when it’s politically expedient.

    The Clackamas Way of solving homelessness is also set apart in its willingness to address root causes. Drug addiction and mental health disorders are a part of the problem, so they need to be part of the solution. While Portland is too busy blaming homelessness on abstract concepts such as “inequity” or “oppression”, Clackamas County is committed to dealing with these underlying challenges head-on through recovery and treatment-oriented programs.

    Multnomah County’s unwillingness to admit the connection between addiction and homelessness bars it from fixing the horrific consequences of Measure 110. This haphazard and short-sighted bill has made it harder for those struggling with housing insecurity. In Clackamas, we’re saying NO to Measure 110 by spearheading the push to repeal this failed experiment. Due to our efforts, Clackamas County as well as counties across this state are referring a vote on this issue to the May ballot.  United, we will make them listen to us.

    Portland elites pay lip service to the importance of recovery but their soft-on-crime policies have eliminated the only legal mechanism for enforcing effective treatment programs. Clackamas County is able to back up its recovery strategy by holding struggling individuals accountable and getting them the resources they need to get better. This is a crucial yet overlooked component of the effort to help people overcome homelessness when drug addiction is involved.

    The Clackamas Way has been successful in alleviating homelessness and addressing its underlying causes. The county needs to remain on its current path while firmly rejecting Portland Creep to continue making progress in this crucial area. In the next election, residents must vote for commissioners who are committed to this vision and willing to listen to the people. I’m proud to stand on the side of effective solutions and responsive leadership.