Real Talk

Your Guide to Modern Love in Portland

We know, we know — love is hard. Whether you’ve got a steady boo or are single and ready to mingle, the topics of love, sex, and relationships are never easy to navigate. Our city doesn’t exactly have a great reputation when it comes to finding love, and many Portlanders would say that technology has […]

/ February 27, 2021


The Making of a Foster Family — What Local Foster Parents Told Us About Their Decision

One couple started fostering to give their friend a break. Another did it after they couldn’t get pregnant. Another saw it as their responsibility as Christians.  To help answer reader Vanessa Holmgren’s question about the incentives for becoming a foster parent in Oregon, we’ve been asking local foster families: What convinced you to take the […]

/ August 8, 2019


The 6 Things I’ve Learned About Foster Care in Oregon

Our readers sent in some great questions this month about Oregon’s foster care system, and I’ll be digging into them throughout the summer.  For now, here’s an update on what I’ve learned: 1. First things first: what even is foster care? That’s not a stupid question. Sometimes foster care is a short-term arrangement for a kid […]

/ July 24, 2019


Portland Can’t Fix Its Homelessness Crisis Without Learning from San Francisco

(📸: Erik Cooper on Flickr) “How does the Bay Area handle the homelessness issue?” When we invited questions about what Portland can learn from the Bay Area about managing growth, several readers asked us about homelessness — and it’s no surprise. Portland’s homelessness crisis ranks among the worst in the country, and on any given […]

/ June 18, 2019


Portlanders Are Riding Public Transit Less Often. Is More Housing the Fix?

(📸: Hector Chacon) “How can we get more people to ride public transit?” Reader Judy Welles submitted that question for our series on what Portland can learn from the Bay Area about managing growth — and it’s interesting timing. TriMet just announced that ridership has dipped nearly two percent since last year, continuing a downward […]

/ June 4, 2019


Think Local Government Is Gridlocked in Portland? Try Living in San Francisco

“How should the Portland metro area govern itself?” That’s the question that reader John Sieling sent me before my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area — and it’s one many Portlanders have been asking lately. In February, City Club released a 35-page report about Portland’s unusual form of government and proposed a series of […]

/ May 22, 2019


Can Portland Learn Anything from the Bay Area?

Timothy Egan once wrote a NYT column that described San Francisco’s growth as “nothing to emulate.” But for cities like Portland that are trying to avoid the same pitfalls, the Bay Area is certainly a place to study. That’s why we sent Ben to the Golden State last month to learn what’s working (and what’s […]

/ May 21, 2019


Here’s to Keeping Portland Special As Our City Grows

It’s no secret we think Portland is one special place — but we also know that keeping our city special as it grows will sometimes mean looking and learning beyond our borders. That’s why we travelled to the Bay Area last month to learn what’s working (and what’s not) for the region as it deals […]

/ May 21, 2019


Is Congestion Pricing the Solution to Portland’s Traffic Woes?

(📸: Pix For our latest Real Talk series, we’re digging into what Portland can learn from the Bay Area’s successes and struggles with growth, starting with a reader’s question about tolling: Does the Bay Area have toll roads and how’s that working out? I hate the idea of toll roads because I’ve seen them abused […]

/ May 15, 2019


10 Things We Learned about Portland’s Housing Crisis

For our latest Real Talk series, we dug into Portland’s housing and homelessness crisis and investigated the ways our community is addressing it. Here’s what we learned: 1. Housing supply is (finally) catching up with demand. Housing construction in Portland slowed to a crawl during the Great Recession just as the region’s population growth took off — and […]

/ January 30, 2019


Real Talk: What Can Be Done About Portland’s Housing Crisis?

From ballot measures to zoning changes to billionaire-backed shelter projects, there’s been a lot in the news lately about our city’s housing crisis. And it is a crisis. About 1,700 Portlanders sleep in cars, tents, or on the street every night. Thousands more rely on emergency shelters or transitional housing, and another 32,000 Portlanders are […]

/ January 29, 2019


Is Universal Housing Possible in Portland? Probably Not Without Uncle Sam

Universal housing vouchers would help all low-income renters who need the help the ability to afford housing in the private market.

/ January 29, 2019


Meet the People Making a Difference on Portland’s Homeless Crisis

If you feel compelled to help solve Portland’s homeless crisis, these are the people and organizations you can connect with to help make a difference.

/ January 29, 2019


Here’s One Way Portland has Almost Solved Homelessness

Multnomah County became the first West Coast community to reduce veteran homelessness to “functional zero.”

/ January 29, 2019


4 Policies That Are Slowing Gentrification In Portland (And 3 More That Could)

Portland’s housing crisis isn’t just about affordable housing and homelessness. So we dug into gentrification, which has happened faster in Portland lately than almost any other city in the country.

/ January 29, 2019


Why Portland is Getting Less Affordable

A Portlander asked us, “How has the ratio of affordable housing in the area kept pace (or not kept pace) with the population increase?” So we answered.

/ January 29, 2019


Portland Is Not a ‘Hub’ for Homelessness, With One Exception

Yes, people are moving to Portland. But only 11 percent of the people experiencing homelessness in our city moved here less than a year ago.

/ January 29, 2019


Portland Is Housing More People Than Ever. Here’s Why It’s Not Enough

Quantifying homelessness depends a lot on your definition of what it means to be homeless. Here’s what we know about those numbers in Portland so far.

/ January 29, 2019


Should Portland Grow In or Out? And Other Housing Qs

📸: Hector Chacon “How does Portland’s zoning and the metro area’s ‘infill philosophy’ contribute to homelessness and gentrification? Considering the available public transportation, might ‘outfill’ ease the crisis?” —Duncan McEwan We shared a little background on this question and the broader infill debate in today’s newsletter. Here’s what else we learned. The urban growth boundary The urban […]

/ January 16, 2019


Your Questions About Homelessness, Answered

📸: Multnomah County “How much does it cost the city to clean up the homeless camps? I see workers cleaning up the huge amount of stuff again and again.” Teri Prifach sent us that question shortly after the New York Times reported on the “dirtiest block in San Francisco,” detailing the daily cleanups that caused […]

/ January 9, 2019