New poll: Majority of Multnomah County voters want stricter homeless regulations

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Portland waterfront(Pixabay)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 5:17 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A new poll by GS Strategy Group shows Portland residents prefer stricter tactics regarding the homeless population.

As of 2022 Multnomah County counted 5,228 homeless people. Over 3000 of those were completely without shelter, while 1,485 were in shelters and over 600 were in transitional housing.

The poll asked several questions on the city’s homeless crisis, some with dramatic results.

The question “How would you describe homeless in the Portland area?” allowed the voters to choose between three answers:

  • It’s an out-of-control disaster
  • It’s manageable but not great
  • It’s turned the corner and making progress

75% of voters agree that the homelessness in Portland is an out-of-control disaster. 17% of voters believed the situation was not great and only 6% of all voters agree that homelessness is turning a corner and making progress.

Another significant question on the poll asked about voluntary vs. forced drug and mental health treatment.

Of the choices, 67% of voters believe that for people in crisis, drug addiction and mental health treatment should no longer be voluntary. Legal tools to encourage and compel people to get help are needed, according to the poll. 25% of voters believe treatment should remain voluntary and no one should be required to seek or accept help.

The poll addresses Mayor Ted Wheeler’s proposal to ban all homeless camping around schools, daycare centers and all public places from 8am to 8pm every day of the week. In the answers, 71% of voters support the ban with 52% of those voting “strong agree” and 23% oppose.

SEE ALSO: Settlement reached in ADA homeless camping lawsuit against Portland

Voter demographics show that 48% self identified as liberal, 27% identified as moderate, and 17% marked conservative. Of the political parties, 59% chose Democrat, 25% chose Independent or No Party, and 12% chose Republican.

For all results and further information view the published results by People for Portland.