Opinion: Compassion for homeless means action, not neglect
Political and civic leaders of goodwill have advanced several ideas to address the Portland metro-area homeless crisis. Voters have provided the resources necessary to turn those ideas into action. Yet, thus far, we have not seen the hoped-for return on investment. Instead, what we are seeing is a heartbreaking escalation in homelessness amid a paralyzing disagreement on what a “compassionate” response entails.
We write as members of United in Spirit, a coalition of faith-based organizations that have come together to confront this social imperative and collectively advocate for urgent action. We are multi-denominational, multi-dimensional and multi-racial. We are Catholics, Protestants, Latter-day Saints, Jews, Muslims, Asians, African Americans and Caucasians. On behalf of thousands of our parishioners and constituents, we have met with elected officials and agencies and brought them together in a first-ever summit this fall to organize a collective community response that is compassionate and consistent with our faith-based principles.