Life Issues / Family Ethics Political Action Committee of Southwest Washington


  City of Vancouver
Homelessness Response
Vancouver Homeless Assistance
And Resources Team (HART)
Winter Hospitality Overflow (WHO) Melville Trust
Dignity Village Website
City of San Luis Obispo

Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Sleeping Outdoors in Homelessness Case
New York Times, June 28, 2024

In a case likely to have broad ramifications throughout the West, the court found an Oregon city’s penalties did not violate the Constitution’s prohibition on “cruel and unusual punishment.” Multiple tents in s field near trees. A case dealing with homelessness stems from a series of local ordinances in Grants Pass, a town of about 40,000 in southern Oregon. 

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld an Oregon city’s laws aimed at banning homeless residents from sleeping outdoors, saying they did not violate the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The decision is likely to reverberate beyond Oregon, altering how cities and states in the West police homelessness. The ruling, by a 6-to-3 vote, split along ideological lines, with Justice Neil M. Gorsuch writing for the majority. The laws, enacted in Grants Pass, Ore., penalize sleeping and camping in public places, including sidewalks, streets and city parks.

Vancouver plans 150-bed homeless shelter
June 25th 2024

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KATU) — The city of Vancouver is planning to add a new homeless shelter. The 150-bed space would cost the city an estimated $16 million to acquire and build, as well as another $6 million to $7 million per year to operate. Many say the shelter is needed and has been for decades.

Spending on the Homeless in Portland, Oregon Has Reached Shocking Levels – Why Do They Still Have a Problem?
Gateway Pundit, June 20, 2024

Spending on the homeless in the Portland, Oregon area has skyrocketed. Local governments and non-profits spent over a half a billion dollars in 2023 alone and yet the problem persists. One has to wonder if the city would have been better off to just give the cash directly to the homeless people rather than using it to fund various programs that obviously aren’t working. Of course, if that happened then all of the people who are making a living by ‘solving’ the problem would have to find new jobs.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Announces Plan to ‘Master Lease’ Hotels for Consolidating Homeless Encampments
Gateway Pundit, Nov. 12, 2023

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass recently issued an order allowing the use of residential hotel rooms, typically reserved for low-income, disabled, and elderly residents, as temporary shelters for the homeless.

This move, part of the Inside Safe initiative, aims to address the city’s homelessness crisis by providing immediate shelter, despite potentially conflicting with a 2008 city law designed to protect these residential units.


Congressional candidate Joe Kent gives his solutions to homeless crisis in Vancouver
Clark Co Today, Saturday, August 26, 2023

Secure the border, bring back manufacturing jobs, fund mental health facilities, and keep Portland’s problems out of Southwest Washington are among Joe Kent’s priorities.

Before setting up for a promo video, Joe Kent and Jim Walsh surveyed the area. Tin foil on the ground, evidence of drug use. Orange caps from needles, more evidence. And a bottle that appeared to be full of urine. All right next to a tent set up just off the sidewalk on West 12th Street in Vancouver, across the street from homes. “It’s incumbent that we take mental health very seriously, and we actually have compassion,” said Kent, a Republican who is again running for Congress in Washington’s third district. “We actually work toward getting them off the streets and making sure they’re getting the mental health services they need.”

"Housing First” Policy Is Not Helping the Homeless
Public Discourse, July 31, 2023

The United States has been combating homelessness for many years. Billions have been invested to help the unhoused find reliable shelter, but the catastrophe has only gotten worse. Indeed, in the last few years, miles of squatter camps of unhoused individuals huddling in tents, crashing in subway stations, or living in sometimes illegally parked vehicles have proliferated in once world-class cities like San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Americans have now witnessed once unthinkable scenarios of city streets befouled with human waste, discarded drug needles littering parks where children play, increased crime, open drug sales, people on the streets delirious from substance abuse, and businesses abandoning once-bustling downtowns because customers no longer believe shopping districts are safe.

Homelessness on rise in Clark County, especially among newly homeless
Crisis response system data reports 43 percent increase from 2021, June 28, 2023

People are entering homelessness faster than Clark County agencies can house them.

Despite efforts and new strategies by housing officials, 2022 data recently pulled from the Homeless Crisis Response System showed that homelessness is rising in Clark County, with 9,032 people from 5,352 households identified in 2022. Two-thirds of them were newly homeless.

The data, compiled based on the number of individuals who called for assistance last year, showed that people of color are still disproportionately impacted by housing instability. It also showed that youth and veterans’ homelessness hasn’t budged despite strategies.

The increase represents a 43.7 percent increase from 2021 levels, when the council reported 6,285 people experiencing homelessness.

“Homelessness does not exist in a vacuum of bad individual choices and circumstances,” said Laura Ellsworth, strategic partnerships and advocacy manager for Council for the Homeless. “The pressures that are squeezing people and communities causing homelessness are only increasing as rents have gone up, housing stock remains at critical short supply and impacts of a global pandemic continue to be felt.”


Disaster: Homelessness Skyrockets in Los Angeles; Over 75,000 on Streets in L.A. County
Breitbart, June 29, 2023

Homelessness in Los Angeles skyrocketed over the last year, increasing by 10% in L.A. County and 9% in the city, leaving more than 75,000 people living on the streets of the county in an epic setback for local leaders.

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday:

Homelessness continued to rise dramatically, increasing by 9% in Los Angeles County and 10% in the city of Los Angeles last year, in a stark illustration of the challenges faced by officials trying to reduce the number of people living on the streets …

The count, conducted by thousands of volunteers during a three-day period in January, projected that 75,518 people were living in interim housing or a tent, car, van, RV, tent or makeshift shelter in Los Angeles County, compared with 69,144 the previous year …

Almost all the growth came from the Westside and Harbor areas of Los Angeles, with each seeing increases of just over 2,000 people, or about 45%.


“There’s no question that marijuana and other drugs – in combination with mental illness or other disabling conditions – are essential contributors to chronic homelessness.” Senator John Hickenlooper made that statement when he was governor of Colorado in 2017. “This is one of the results of the legalization of marijuana in Denver, and we’re going to have to deal with it.” Mayor Michael Hancock was talking about a violent incident on 16th Street Mall. He described the “urban travelers” who came to Denver following legalization. That was seven years ago, and a new mayor will have to deal with the problem, a problem that now extends to more cities.

Vancouver’s 4th Safe Stay Community proposed for upper Main Street, near Kiggins Bowl
City will seek public input on potential site, Columbian, May 24, 2023

Vancouver city officials announced Wednesday that they will be seeking public input on the city’s proposed fourth Safe Stay site at 4611 Main St., in the Lincoln neighborhood. The suggested property — which sits just north of the Kiggins Bowl and near Discovery Middle School — is owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation, which will lease a portion of the 18,750-square-foot lot to the city. Similar to the other three Safe Stay communities, the location will include 20 modular pallet shelters that can house up to 40 people.

John Mellencamp - The Eyes of Portland (Official Lyric Video), 5/12/2023

Leftist Singer John Mellencamp Song Highlights Disastrous Portland “Land of Plenty Where Nothing Gets Done”
Gateway Pundit, May 24, 2023

Woman Explains Benefits and Incentives of Remaining Homeless in Portland: "It's a Piece of Cake"
Rumble Video, 4/1/2023

Governor Newsom Launches New Plan to Help Californians Struggling with Mental Health Challenges, Homelessness
Office of the Governor, 3/3/2022

What we know about Newsom's plan to compel care for homeless, mentally ill Californians
Yahoo News, LA Times, 3/4/2022

Old Is New: Incarcerating The Homeless Could Work
Mineral County Independent News, 3/14/22

Major U.S. city has enough homeless students to fill famous baseball stadium twice, October 26, 2022 

Homeless public school students increased in the 2021-2022 school year as the city of New York sees a decline in enrollment, according to data from Advocates for Children of New York. The number of homeless students in the last year increased 3.3% to more than 104,000 students, according to data released Wednesday by Advocates for Children of New York. The report comes as enrollment in schools operated by the New York City Department of Education (NYDOE) dropped 83,656 students after the 2019-2020 school year. “If these 100,000 children made up their own school district, it would be a district larger than 99.5% of all other districts nationwide,” Advocates for Children of New York Executive Director Kim Sweet said in a press release. “While the city works to address the underlying issue of homelessness, we also must ensure that students who are homeless get to class every day and receive the targeted supports they need to succeed in school.”

Giant Homeless Encampments Set to Explode Across US
America First Report, September 21, 2022

Worsening inflation (stemming from endless fiat currency money printing) is causing food, energy and housing to become unaffordable for millions of Americans, putting them on a trajectory of homelessness and destitution. Right now, homeless encampments are expanding in cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Oakland. The situation is bound to get far worse as inflation accelerates and people find themselves jobless due to plummeting economic activity while manufacturers downsize operations.

Police calls drop 30% around Vancouver’s first Safe Stay
First pallet shelter community so successful, city looking to open more sites
Columbian, August 23, 2022

In spring of 2021, after a few months sleeping in their car, Sharon and Jerry moved into a homeless encampment in east Vancouver’s North Image neighborhood. Sharon, 59, is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 10 years. She and Jerry, 58, are both disabled, struggling with back and hip problems. The married couple have been homeless for about two years. For much of that time, they didn’t know where to turn. They lived in the encampment for about 8 months. They felt unsafe in their tent, due to both crime and extreme weather conditions.

Open House Ministries realizes 'God block' in Vancouver with affordable housing plan
An organization that helps homeless people find a new way in life is writing its next chapter. Open House Ministries is about to build affordable housing.
KGW News, Aug 3, 2022

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Open House Ministries has always tried to be "full-service" when it comes to getting people out of homelessness. Now they're going to add long-term affordable housing, and they found a place to do it right across the street from their existing Vancouver campus. The location is a parking lot now, but it had an old house on it when a generous donor gave the property to Open House Ministries. In about 18 months, a new four-story building will stand at the corner of 12th and Jefferson — built for people, including many families, who are ready to move on from the non-profit's long-term shelter. “We've always joked about having a 'God block' and we just keep expanding. We're trying to meet the needs of our community, and this seems to be a huge need,” said Open House Ministries Executive Director Renee Stevens.

CC Republican Women Sherriff Forum, 4/20/2022
Facebook video, homelessness comments begin 1:01:30

Tucker Carlson: Homelessness is a manufactured crisis
Jan 19, 2022

Tucker examines the cause and solutions to the homeless crisis in America. Highlights include: “No matter what they tell you, homelessness is not an act of God. It’s not the result of economic collapse in this country, America did not run out of housing.” “Instead, a determined group of well-funded ideologues decided to make it easier to live on the streets in this country while doing drugs.” “Therefore, many more people now live on the streets while doing drugs.” “Luxury apartments are just the beginning. Seattle’s most recent municipal budget allocates more than $150 million to other so-called homelessness programs, just this year. Now, keep in mind Seattle has fewer than 750,000 people living there, so that’s an awful lot of money per bum. It’s certainly a lot more than anyone else is getting in Seattle. At the same time it was giving overpriced condos to drug addicts. Seattle allocated just $10 million total for its small business stabilization fund, designed to keep family businesses from going bankrupt during the covid lockdowns.”

Portland Business Owner Shutting Down Over “Progressive” Policies Delivers Heartfelt Rebuke
Liberty Daily, Jan. 18, 2022

Shocking Video Of Philadelphia Homelessness
Twitter, Sept 2021

Prager University Video: What Do We Do About the Homeless?, July 5, 2021

Homelessness is one of the most vexing public policy problems we face. If you live in a big city, especially on the West Coast, you literally face it every day. And every day, it seems to get worse. Why? And what can we do about it? Christopher Rufo, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has answers.

Vancouver homeless encampment fire sparks concerns
KATU, May 31, 2021
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Massive flames lit up the midnight sky in Vancouver after a fire broke out at a populated homeless camp in east Vancouver. The fire started just after 12 a.m. Monday, near Northeast 112th and 51st Street. Vancouver fire crews were just minutes away and say when they arrived, flames were 40 to 50 feet tall, engulfing a wooded area that was populated with dozens of homeless campsites. Luckily, everyone made it out safe but fire crews tell KATU it was an obstacle getting to the actual fire.

Vancouver weighs launching ‘supported campsite’ program for the homeless
Small, city-endorsed sites would aim to increase security and services for unhoused
Columbian, May 24, 2021

Vancouver city councilors voiced their approval for a plan that would create several formal, supported campsites around the city for people experiencing homelessness. The idea is to create temporary and safe spaces for unhoused people where they can find some stability, Jamie Spinelli, Vancouver’s homeless resources coordinator, told the city councilors during their meeting Monday afternoon.  In addition to helping residents access health, employment and housing services, the supported campsites would also help mitigate some of the community impacts of homelessness such as trash, sanitation and crime, she said ...

5/24/2021 Workshop - Vancouver Homelessness Plan, Attachments:   Memo    Presentation

Apr 2021

Portland, Oregon Homelessness Video
On Facebook, one minute

Apr 2021
Homelessness In America: What Should We Do

CURE Policy Briefing | November 2019


  • Mental illness and substance abuse are leading causes of homelessness in America.
  • Homeless policy must be two-pronged. One, we need local law enforcement regimes that discourage rather than encourage homelessness. Two, we need social welfare policies that get to the core of the problem.
More ...

April 2021

In Our View: Time for city to move on from Navigation Center

The rocky history of the Navigation Center – the city of Vancouver’s effort to serve unhoused people – offers numerous lessons. Providing services for a needy population and balancing that with the concerns of neighborhood residents is a difficult task, and the attempt should guide future policy.

Vancouver moves ahead with sale of Navigation Center

Vancouver will move forward with the sale of its day shelter for the homeless, the city council decided Monday, and begin negotiations with Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries staff looking to purchase the facility and transform it into its new headquarters.

Seattle is Dying | A KOMO News Documentary
YouTube, March 2019

KOMO Anchor Eric Johnson takes an in-depth look at the impact the drug and homelessness problem is having on our city and possible solutions in "Seattle is Dying," a news documentary that aired on KOMO-TV in March, 2019.

Metro-area churches, elected officials will launch 'Season of Service'

The Columbian
Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Vancouver city officials will join with representatives of the metropolitan area's church community today to announce a collaboration of civic, business and religious entities to bring a "Season of Service" and a world-class music festival to the Vancouver-Portland area.

The event is sponsored by the Luis Palau Association, a Christian evangelical organization with offices in Beaverton, Ore.

The launch of the project will be at 12:30 p.m. today at Cedar Mill Bible Church, 12208 N.W. Cornell Road in Portland, said Craig Chastain, director of public relations and media for the Palau association.

Vancouver's Neighborhood Coordinator Judi Bailey will join more than 600 pastors and church leaders, Camas Mayor Paul Dennis, Portland City Commissioners Erik Sten and Sam Adams, Gresham, Ore., Mayor Shane Bemis and Beaverton Mayor Rob Drake to hear an outline of the program designed by Palau and other partners, Chastain said in a press release.

Full article at:

Council to study fund to help homeless families

by Alice Perry Linker
The Reflector staff reporter
Sept 5, 2007

A Woodland agency that works with low-income families and people who need help finding homes has asked for a portion of city document recording fees.
The Community Services Center, 736 Davidson, Woodland, has asked the city council to sign an agreement that would allow the non-profit organization to tap into fees designed to help those who are homeless.
A state law requires counties and cities to set aside a total of $18 from each document recording fee to fund programs that help low-income and homeless people, said Melissa Taylor of the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments (CWCOG).
Sixty percent of the designated funds is awarded to cities. Most of the money must be used for housing, although one fund allows money for services to help homeless people, she said.

Full story at:

Dignity Village
From Wikipedia

Dignity Village is a city-recognized encampment of homeless people in Portland, Oregon, United States.

In the days before Christmas of 2000, a group of homeless people in Portland succeeded in establishing a shanty town which garnered a great deal of both opposition and support, and quickly evolved from a group of self-described "outsiders" who practiced civil disobedience, to a self-regulating, city-recognized "campground" as defined by Portland city code.

Full Article at:

Bill Passed to Protect Homeless
Citing Attacks, Senators Vote to Add Group to Hate Crimes Law

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 7, 2007; Page B04
The Senate approved a bill yesterday that would make Maryland the second state to add homeless people to the groups protected under hate crimes laws.

The legislation was approved 38 to 9 after a brief but pointed debate over whether ample evidence existed that homeless people are being targeted for crimes. Some critics also said the measure watered down the original hate crimes law by adding another group.

Under current law, violators are subject to additional penalties if their crime is motivated by another person's race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or national origin.

Sen. Alex X. Mooney (R-Frederick) said he thought homeless people should be included under the law, based on numerous attacks reported across the country. Maine passed a similar measure last year.

The bill goes to the House of Delegates for approval.

"Maryland has made it clear they are going to have the policy of hate crimes [laws]. Going right along with that, it's only fair to include vulnerable groups in our society," Mooney said.

Nationally, attacks on homeless people have been on the rise. The National Coalition for the Homeless recorded 142 incidents last year, up from 86 in 2005 and the most since the survey began in 1999. The group has recorded two attacks in Maryland in the past three years; one resulted in a death.

Full story at: