Portland, 1997. That city has some good ideas. There is a lot of interesting art work around the city and a lot of it is built into the buildings themselves. That is because Portland has a one percent tax on building construction that is set aside for public art and offers an exemption for that tax if one percent of a building’s cost is put toward art. How smart is that?
The other good idea is the Sisters of the Road Cafe. Instead of a soup kitchen, it is a place where meals are provided at low cost or in return for work. Homeless people explain it is a wonderful institution because it offers a place where they can go and be treated with respect. (Pass the tissues.) Many say after living with the fear of being homeless for so long, it is freeing once homelessness has become a reality. I was there for two weeks and saw developers experimenting with low income housing options and community lectures on how to address social ills being widely advertised. It’s happening in Portland, Oregon.