Oregon City’s mayoral candidate says he will put homeless in ‘Japanese-style’ pods as overdoses rise

Oregon City’s mayoral candidate says he will put homeless in ‘Japanese-style’ pods as overdoses rise


Portland‘s open-air drug market is laid bare as people smoke heroin on the streets and needles litter the sidewalks as city officials start homeless sweeps while a nearby city’s mayoral candidate ‘wants to round them up and use ‘Japanese-style pods’ to house them.

New photos taken by DailyMail.com show the current situation in Portland, a city that has been plagued with homelessness and addicts openly using drugs in broad daylight. Users were seen injecting themselves, slumping over in a semi-comatose state.

Discarded needles, human waste and the smell of urine adds another layer of tarnish to city’s progressive policies – one of them being the Ballot Measure 110 decision, which has decriminalized hard drugs in the Democrat-run state.

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other drugs after voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs.

But drug overdose deaths in the state also hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020, Fox News reported. 

Now, Leslie Wright, who is a retired sergeant major in the U.S. Marine Corps and currently a mayoral candidate for the Portland suburb of Oregon City detailed his plan to use vacant schools for homeless shelters like ‘the Japanese people.’

Oregon City’s mayoral candidate says he will put homeless in ‘Japanese-style’ pods as overdoses rise

Photos show the current situation in Portland, where homeless people and addicts are on full display in public shooting up drugs or passed out in broad daylight. Pictured: A man is slumped over semi-comatose condition barely able to move

Homeless people are scattered across Portland, many of them using flattened out boxes to sleep on

Homeless people are scattered across Portland, many of them using flattened out boxes to sleep on  

In this aerial photo taken with a drone, pods in homeless camps were constructed in Portland, Oregon in 2020. Now, the Oregon City mayoral candidate wants to round up the homeless in Portland and place them in such pods at vacant schools

In this aerial photo taken with a drone, pods in homeless camps were constructed in Portland, Oregon in 2020. Now, the Oregon City mayoral candidate wants to round up the homeless in Portland and place them in such pods at vacant schools

Kenneth Lebanno moves his belongings into a new pod setup by the city in Portland, Oregon on December 9, 2020

Kenneth Lebanno moves his belongings into a new pod setup by the city in Portland, Oregon on December 9, 2020

Leslie Wright, a mayoral candidate for Portland suburb Oregon City, says he wants to round up the homeless and put them in 'Japanese-style' pods

Leslie Wright, a mayoral candidate for Portland suburb Oregon City, says he wants to round up the homeless and put them in ‘Japanese-style’ pods

‘Have you ever seen the Japanese people, how they live? They live in these small, compact areas,’ Wright told radio show host Lars Larson. 

‘We’re gonna take each one of those (homeless) people and give them their own little area and give them an address.’

During the Japanese internment in the 1940s, American citizens of Asian descent were rounded up in government compounds – which were crowded, buildings where many of them died.

Wright said that with his plan, homeless people who sheltered in a designated vacant school would have to get eye tests and potentially be sent elsewhere if they have mental health issues. No alcohol would be allowed on the property. 

Wright did not specify what former school building it would be, but added he would get permission from various local and state agencies before enacting the plan.

‘When they first walk in the door, they will be assessed, just as the military does,’ he said. 

‘In this community I’m gonna have a job lottery every single day. The community is gonna take care of each other. They’re gonna make sure the yard is clear. They’re gonna make sure the barracks are clean. No drugs, no needles.’

Wright received less than 30 percent of the vote in the March 2021 mayoral election, losing to former Mayor Rachel Lyles Smith. He has no previous experience in ab elected position in Oregon City. In August, Wright will face off in a special election against commission president Denyse McGriff, who has been serving as acting mayor since Smith’s resignation. 

Wright's comments about his plan come as nearby Portland has become an 'open air drug market' and overdoses skyrocket

Wright’s comments about his plan come as nearby Portland has become an ‘open air drug market’ and overdoses skyrocket

Drugs were openly being used in fully view of the general public who took great effort to avoid getting close

Drugs were openly being used in fully view of the general public who took great effort to avoid getting close

Several people noticulbly dealing with mental issues, were seen roaming the streets. Pictured: A person covered in tattoos spotted in a parking lot as they strip off their overalls and pull the clothing down around their ankles

Several people noticulbly dealing with mental issues, were seen roaming the streets. Pictured: A person covered in tattoos spotted in a parking lot as they strip off their overalls and pull the clothing down around their ankles 

Discarded needles, trash, human waste and the smell of urine adds another layer of tarnish to city's progressive policies

Discarded needles, trash, human waste and the smell of urine adds another layer of tarnish to city’s progressive policies

A man is pictured using drugs in public out in broad daylight in Portland, Oregon as overdoses in the city continue to rise

A man is pictured using drugs in public out in broad daylight in Portland, Oregon as overdoses in the city continue to rise

A comatose person is splayed on the sidewalk in Portland, their legs sticking out as passersby walk past

A comatose person is splayed on the sidewalk in Portland, their legs sticking out as passersby walk past 

Another homeless person is camped out on the sidewalk in Portland, wrapped in a blanket with only their shoes showing

Another homeless person is camped out on the sidewalk in Portland, wrapped in a blanket with only their shoes showing

Homelessness and drug use continues to be an issue in the Portland area, and only got worse after the state decriminalized certain drugs for drug use. 

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other drugs after voters approved a ballot measure in 2020 to decriminalize hard drugs. 

A person found with personal amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs receives a citation, like a traffic ticket, with the maximum $100 fine waived if they call a hotline for a health assessment.

The state’s program, which has been promoted as a way to establish and fund addiction recovery centers that would offer people aid instead of incarceration, is being watched as a potential model for other states.

People walking by homeless camps and addicts shooting up tried to keep their distance. Wright said that with his plan, homeless people who sheltered in a designated vacant school would be sent elsewhere if they have mental health issues

People walking by homeless camps and addicts shooting up tried to keep their distance. Wright said that with his plan, homeless people who sheltered in a designated vacant school would be sent elsewhere if they have mental health issues

A woman is pictured curled up against her suitcase in downtown Portland where homelessness and drug issues are rampant

A woman is pictured curled up against her suitcase in downtown Portland where homelessness and drug issues are rampant

A group of people are seen using drugs in Portland. Homelessness and drug use continues to be an issue in the area, and only got worse after the state decriminalized certain drugs for drug use

A group of people are seen using drugs in Portland. Homelessness and drug use continues to be an issue in the area, and only got worse after the state decriminalized certain drugs for drug use

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone

Oregon was the first state in the United States to decriminalize possession of personal-use amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone 

A man is passed out in broad daylight as the public passes by in Portland. Overdose deaths in the state hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020

A man is passed out in broad daylight as the public passes by in Portland. Overdose deaths in the state hit an all-time high in 2021 with 1069, a 41 percent increase from 2020

Structures constructed in 2020 to help keep the homeless warm and separate from people during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic appear abandoned as now many have taken up sidewalk space and parks in Portland

Structures constructed in 2020 to help keep the homeless warm and separate from people during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic appear abandoned as now many have taken up sidewalk space and parks in Portland

A woman is seen sweeping up outside a tent encampment in Portland. The Downtown area has become crowded with tent cities overflowing with trash, discarded needles and humane waste

A woman is seen sweeping up outside a tent encampment in Portland. The Downtown area has become crowded with tent cities overflowing with trash, discarded needles and humane waste

New possession limits 

Under the new Oregon law that went into effect in February 2021, offenders caught with the following drug amounts can avoid criminal charges:

  • Less than 1 gram of heroin
  • Less than 1 gram, or less than 5 pills, of MDMA
  • Less than 2 grams of methamphetamine
  • Less than 40 units of LSD
  • Less than 12 grams of psilocybin
  • Less than 40 units of methadone
  • Less than 40 pills of oxycodone
  • Less than 2 grams of cocaine

Offenders caught with the following amounts of drugs will be charged with misdemeanor simple possession, rather than a felony:  

  • 1 to 3 grams of heroin
  • 1 to 4 grams of MDMA
  • 2 to 8 grams of methamphetamine
  • 2 to 8 grams of cocaine

But some critics say that spending more money to reduce homelessness would not necessarily reduce the number of people living on the streets.

‘We’re used to saying, until there’s enough housing, don’t hold us accountable. But we have to be able to show that progress is being made,’ Rosanne Haggerty, founder and CEO of Community Solutions told KOIN

Community Solutions argues that every homeless person needs to be identified by name, location and need in real time though a process it calls Built for Zero. The process is working for 107 communities, many of which have reduced their homeless populations. 

In Portland’s Old Town neighborhood, a group of neighbors and property owners have taken things into their own hands when the challenged the city to ‘reopen’ Old Town with graffiti clean-ups, tent sweeps, and increased police, a local news blog reported

The city reports that 343 tents were cleared from the Old Town area in April and May, and 87 of the people living in those tents were referred to a shelter bed. However, it is not know how many people actually moved into a shelter. 

Oregon’s first-in-the-nation scheme to decriminalize drugs and encourage those caught possessing them to seek medical help has been blighted with problems, officials admitted earlier this month.  

The pioneering scheme, Ballot Measure 110, was approved by voters in November 2020, and went into effect in February 2021.

A person found with personal amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs receives a citation, like a traffic ticket, with the maximum $100 fine waived if they call a hotline for a health assessment.

And of the 1,885 people who received tickets for personal possession in the first year, only 91 people, a measly one percent, called the hotline, according to its non-profit operator, Lines For Life.

Earlier this month, those behind the scheme admitted that they had underestimated the effort required to distributed the $300 million in funds for the program, and only $40 million has been spent.

‘So clearly, if we were to do it over again, I would have asked for many more staff much quicker in the process,’ said Steve Allen, Oregon’s behavioral health director.

‘We were just under-resourced to be able to support this effort, underestimated the work that was involved in supporting something that looked like this and partly we didn’t fully understand it until we were in the middle of it.’

The ballot measure redirected millions of dollars in tax revenue from the state’s legal marijuana industry to treatment.

In some neighborhoods of Portland where there are many tent encampments, communities are rallying together to sweep the homeless problem with graffiti clean-ups, tent sweeps, and an increased police presence

In some neighborhoods of Portland where there are many tent encampments, communities are rallying together to sweep the homeless problem with graffiti clean-ups, tent sweeps, and an increased police presence 

A man wearing several layers of clothing, including a coat with a fur collar, eats with his hands in a Portland tent encampment

A man wearing several layers of clothing, including a coat with a fur collar, eats with his hands in a Portland tent encampment 

Two men are seen looking around as talk to each other in an area that has become rampant with drug buying and selling

Two men are seen looking around as talk to each other in an area that has become rampant with drug buying and selling

Some people were pictured shielding themselves with umbrellas as they used drugs

Some people were pictured shielding themselves with umbrellas as they used drugs 

A semi-comatose man falls over against his things as he takes shelter against a building in Portland

A semi-comatose man falls over against his things as he takes shelter against a building in Portland

A man is seen slumped over in an area riddled with drug use and homelessness. Portland is just one of several Democratic-led cities blighted by rampant open-air drug abuse

A man is seen slumped over in an area riddled with drug use and homelessness. Portland is just one of several Democratic-led cities blighted by rampant open-air drug abuse 

But applications for funding stacked up after state officials underestimated the work required to vet them and get the money out the door, officials testified earlier this month before the House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health.

Portland is just one of several Democratic-led cities blighted by rampant open-air drug abuse.

Recent images and videos of the streets of San Francisco show loiterers using drugs in full view, car break-ins, aggressive shoplifting, homeless encampments and fouling of pavements with human excrement.

Things began going downhill in the liberal city under ousted Democratic District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Boudin was elected in 2019 on a platform of criminal justice reform, but the DA has been widely blamed for rising crime and homelessness in the Bay Area since the start of the pandemic – where brazen looters ransacking stores and breaking into cars has become commonplace.

So far this year, statistics show that the crime wave has worsened from last year – one of the worst crime years in decades – with the city’s murder rate rising 11 percent, and rapes up by nearly 10 percent.

Boudin’s time in office has also seen a marked rise in vagrancy – a stand-out issue in the Bay Area, where homelessness and brazen open drug use has increased in earnest during the pandemic.

But as infection rates plunge and restrictions continue to lessen, the city’s crime and seedy underbelly has persisted – frustrating citizens to no end.

As larceny continues to see the largest increase in crime, the Bay Area has contended with a series of smash-and-grab robberies in the past year, with brazen thieves raiding stores in the middle of day.

A homeless man is seen passed out in Portland, with his small collection of belongings, including phone and bottle of water

A homeless man is seen passed out in Portland, with his small collection of belongings, including phone and bottle of water 

The general filth, discarded needles, human waste and the smell of urine is prevalent across areas of Portland

The general filth, discarded needles, human waste and the smell of urine is prevalent across areas of Portland

The streets of Downtown Portland are filled with tent cities (pictured) where people are known to carry on with open drug use

The streets of Downtown Portland are filled with tent cities (pictured) where people are known to carry on with open drug use

Homeless encampments are strewn across the Portland area with many of the people using drugs out in public

Homeless encampments are strewn across the Portland area with many of the people using drugs out in public 

A homeless person is slumped over in a chair while injecting drugs into their arm. The area is blighted with rampant open-air drug abuse, car break-ins, aggressive shoplifting, homeless encampments and fouling of pavements with human excrement

A homeless person is slumped over in a chair while injecting drugs into their arm. The area is blighted with rampant open-air drug abuse, car break-ins, aggressive shoplifting, homeless encampments and fouling of pavements with human excrement

More tents line a residential neighborhood in Portland as the homeless scene continues to worsen. In the background, a man is seen slumped over on the sidewalk

More tents line a residential neighborhood in Portland as the homeless scene continues to worsen. In the background, a man is seen slumped over on the sidewalk

A person's foot sticks out from beneath a tarp that has been fastened as a shelter in downtown Portland

A person’s foot sticks out from beneath a tarp that has been fastened as a shelter in downtown Portland 

Illicit fentanyl started appearing on San Francisco streets in 2018, and is often mixed with other drugs such as heroin and cocaine to increase potency.

Overdose deaths rose rapidly with the arrival of fentanyl and deaths connected to the drug increased from nine in 2009 to 230 in 2019, the city said in a report. In 2021, the city reported 474 deaths due to fentanyl.

The city has taken several steps to address the fentanyl epidemic, including adding new drug and mental health beds and launching the Street Overdose Response team to provide care for people at high risk of overdose, SFGATE reported.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a state of emergency in the city, which streamlined the city’s permitting regulations in order to quickly open the linkage center. The facility connects people living on the street and struggling with substance use and mental health issues, to services.

A man using drugs is seen sheltered underneath a sculpture at a park in Portland. Some of the drug use around Portland took place in parks and near playgrounds where children were seen playing

A man using drugs is seen sheltered underneath a sculpture at a park in Portland. Some of the drug use around Portland took place in parks and near playgrounds where children were seen playing 

A homeless person wrapped in a sleeping bag is seen passed out on the sidewalk, an empty bag of chips nearby

A homeless person wrapped in a sleeping bag is seen passed out on the sidewalk, an empty bag of chips nearby 

Two people are pictured using drugs while sitting on a dilapidated wall outside a building in Portland

Two people are pictured using drugs while sitting on a dilapidated wall outside a building in Portland 

A homeless man leans his head into a passing car in Portland where many of the homeless and drug addicts are known to approach the locals and tourists to beg for money or to possibly and sell drugs

A homeless man leans his head into a passing car in Portland where many of the homeless and drug addicts are known to approach the locals and tourists to beg for money or to possibly and sell drugs 

The state of emergency expired in April, but the mayor renewed aspects of the declaration to allow city workers to serve as disaster service workers to respond to issues in the Tenderloin neighborhood, which is particularly hard hit.

‘The mayor agrees that we need to break up open-air drug dealing in San Francisco,’ the mayor’s office wrote in an emailed statement.

‘Police officers are making arrests every day, and in the last few weeks an additional 20 officers have been added to the Tenderloin neighborhood to support our emergency response initiative. The police have seized over 10 kilos of fentanyl in the Tenderloin area this year alone, which is roughly four times more than was seized over the same time period last year. We know more needs to be done to make more arrests, but there also needs to be accountability for the people who are dealing drugs, committing acts of violence, and making our communities less safe.’



Source link

Author: Shirley