The Homeless Need A Good Night’s Sleep Too

Tam Nguyen, a member of the city council of San Jose, California, spent his Memorial Day weekend in Portland, Oregon, sleeping in the Right To Dream Too homeless encampment.

Nguyen has been on the council for a year, and in that time he says his colleagues have constantly dismissed the idea of supporting encampments, arguing that they foster crime and other social ills.

They have been, instead, talking about building permanent housing for the homeless.

But Nguyen says those discussions have dragged on and on for years and he's had it with all the talk and no action.

He accepted an invitation to visit Right To Dream Too “out of frustration,” he said, and “to experience for myself the good and the bad of it.”

He says what he found was a highly functional community, and one that could use improvements.

People living there told him “we want safety, we’re tired of being beat up and kicked and harassed on the street, we want a safe night’s sleep, a good night’s sleep,” he said.

“It’s very safe and it’s very desirable for people who need a place to sleep.

Of course it could be improved in many ways.”

Now he’s going to bring his experience back to share with his colleagues in San Jose as a way to explore the option of supporting encampments while plans for more permanent housing slowly grind on.

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