With all due respect to the homeless, where do they get the idea that the city owes them anything? Their sleep-in on the sidewalks around City Hall is an attempt to get the mayor to listen to their plight. They are tired of being swept out from under the bridges, wondering where else to go.

Here’s an idea: How about cleaning up their own acts in order to get into transitional housing? Or doing what it takes to qualify for temporary work? For those who just don’t care about working for a living or getting off the streets, please tell me what the city owes them and why?

To qualify for city services, one must be a participating citizen by paying taxes! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt the homeless fall into this category.

P.D. TAIT Northeast Portland

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This decade has left behind those living just one paycheck from the street. Poor credit, an eviction or a felony conviction can leave a person unable to compete in the tightening job and rental markets. Homelessness is a market failure of our current economic system.

The people protesting in front of City Hall are examples of citizens in a democratic society. Laws that push the problems out of sight do nothing to work toward solutions.

Ending homelessness includes advocating affordable housing for people earning less than the poverty level, advocating for jobs for felons, and advocating for more federal, state and local funding for 10-year plans to end homelessness.

DAN NEWTH Southeast Portland

What’s with The Oregonian’s long-term, mean-spirited obsession with Dignity Village, one of Portland’s most visible successes in ending homelessness?

Tuesday’s editorial, “End the slumber party,” attempts to tie legitimate protesters against the city’s slow response to solving homeless issues to just another slap at Dignity Village.

It makes the absurd suggestion that the camping protesters around City Hall amount to an annex to Dignity Village. It is doubtful that any of those folks ever heard of Dignity Village, much less ever been a part of it.

Portland has made some good progress against homelessness. The only way to continue to move forward is for all of us to pull together in this noble effort. Compassionate leadership on all levels is needed now more than ever before.

Homeless campout sparks discussion

Your Tuesday editorial, “End the slumber party,” makes me ashamed to be a Portlander, in a city where the mention of Dignity Village or any organized homeless gathering incurs such public disapproval.

Imagine homeless people having the temerity to expose their lives so publicly!

In response to any outrage that Portland could allow an encampment such as Dignity Village or the “slumber party” around City Hall to exist, I have one question: With no available housing or shelter, where should they go? A piece of cardboard in some fetid alley? A trash-strewn patch of dirt hidden by overgrowth? A condemned, abandoned rat-infested building without water or toilets? And how would their conditions be so much better?

An inspiring model, Dignity Village has peace, order and safety. Closing it would put 60 people back onto the ruthless streets to fend for themselves. Yet, The Oregonian recommends sweeping organized homeless people out of the public view as a far better option. My question is, in which universe?

The “decent” response shouldn’t always be a knee-jerk one.

KEITH VANN Southwest Portland