I hear that Dignity Village submitted a proposal to the city of Portland today regarding a 10-year extension to whatever they already had. I heard this on the Victor Bach show, one of the most appalling pieces of talk radio I know. However, this is one of the very few issues on which I’ve had some agreement with Victor Bach…something which a say with a sense of shame after hearing his disgusting abortion stance yesterday. But anyway, Dignity Village is a location that is available for the City of Portland’s homeless population to live at. It’s a sort of independent transitional housing project. But I’m just skeptical. And disapproving. Why should the people of our town support these people in this way, with an entire community, sheltered and safe, when so many people are working so hard just to scrape by in this tainted economy. Don’t get me wrong, I am in support of homeless support projects, as well as many social programs, but I do not believe that the platter of independence should be presented, no matter how much of a stink is put up, no matter how many faux concessions are offered. Portland is already a town of homeless chic. It’s true, don’t get indignant on me, there’s a mystique attached to homelessness here, and toughness, an allure, a depth, that I’ve seen many of privilege aspire to or imitate. I never really understood. There is an attraction to the lifestyle here. I believe that it is too easy to be homeless, to cast away your worries and line up at the soup kitchens. It’s not all roses, but there’s an appeal to it. I believe that once established, the Dignity Village will be a wonderful thing, a model of transition. But within two years it will be wrought with corruption, misunderstanding, and fraud. The Portland community will begin to feel slighted. There are people who need help, but there are so many freeloaders out there, better salesmen than the truly needy, I don’t want to open the door. Just like respect, you need to earn dignity.
Social business architect in Portland, Oregon. Soccer addict, beer fan with a hint of wine. Find me on a gorgeous Oregon river when the sun is shining.