Vancouver, Seattle and Portland have an image problem.  The three cities are overrun with homeless men and women who reside on the streets because the weather tends to be mild.  The three towns want to project a forward-moving economy, but it is hard when people congregate on sidewalks,in alleyways, under bridges and in parks.  Portland has emphasized services to the homeless but the result has been to attract more of them.  Seattle and Vancouver seem to tolerate them but have no particular solutions to finding them shelter.  Part of the challenge is that it isn’t just people with no place to live but drinking and drug problems and mental derangement that drive them out of doors.  The homeless are an achilles heel.  No matter how innovative they are, the three cities will always be held back by the appearance of dirty people in filthy clothes lying on sidewalks.  It is a reminder that they have not done enough to feed, clothe and shelter all of their citizens.

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