By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Advocate not giving up on planned village for homeless

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When did Howie Harkema lose his marbles?
Manicures? Pedicures? A tiny post office?
I keep recalling the dialogue from "Monster," the movie about serial killer Aileen Wuornos, as she contemplated what other type of occupation she might consider. Since she's always liked animals, why not become a veterinarian?
Magical thinking. What Harkema proposes is a one-stop shopping area for law enforcement.


If you build it, they will come.


Here's a guy that has been an advocate for the homeless for years...He has an idea that meets a lot of needs. He hasn't "lost his marbles" Lulu, he has an goal to improve the it perfect? no!.....but at least he offers an alternative to discuss... what has your contribution been to finding a solution?....


The one-way bus ticket.


tagup, I totally agree with you. Something needs to be done to help those in need.


I'll assume you are joking because your proposal has so many basic flaws that it can't be seriously considered.....


Let's cut to the chase. Nothing can be done because no funds exist to change the current situation. We can talk 'til the cows come home, or split into smaller groups to "assess" the situation and report back, but what we accomplish is simply a bunch of empty rhetoric so we can feel good about ourselves. Harkema is describing a utopia that won't work. In the end it will resemble something from "Lord of the Flies."


Lulu,you are talking about the current state of Oregon


Of course there are things that can be done.

Enforcing vagrancy and panhandling laws would be a start to protect the downtown. Designate a spot away from the core area for homeless to camp.
Those two options don't take a lot of money, just a decision and a buy in from all sides.
Howie's ideas are a wish for the future no doubt, but if you don't start with a plan (or a dream), nothing will ever get done.


Yes. Manicures and pedicures are priority’s for the areas homeless. Perhaps next we can provide elective plastic surgery, you know, to further increase their self esteem and make them more marketable.

The homeless I see are mostly chronic low level criminals with no desire to change any current behavior. They have been given numerous opportunities to change their behavior, all on tax payers money of course. These are not the people we want to further encourage setting permanent ties to our area. I am all for helping those that need temporary assistance in getting back on their feet, but let’s be realistic, this isn’t the crowd Howie is pandering too.


Mr. Harkema was involved with the soup kitchen at the Episcopal church for many years.....I'm confident he knows a lot about his target market.


Good for him. I’m very confident in my assessment and stand by my comment


I just spoke with Howie. He was talking about foot care specifically for people with chronic problems, like diabetes. Not pedicures and manicures.
We need to be able to have professionals assess the needs of each person and try to help him or her find jobs, housing, conflict resolution, education, etc.


Will they fix hammertoes?


Making a difference is really about meeting the most basic needs of homeless people. This sounds like exactly the kind of help people need to get back on their feet. Let's face it...a shower, decent haircut and the proper clothes are necessary for a job interview. Some coaching, transportation and safe child care would be even more helpful. Homeless women with children face the biggest obstacles imo. If you don't have a home, car, proper clean clothes, and someone you trust to look after your kids long enough for an interview or to put in a job application you are just out of luck.

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