(Oregon Public Broadcasting)
A study out of Multnomah County finds that 56 homeless people died in Portland last year.
The county started counting homeless deaths in 2011. Since then, 191 people have died unattended on the street.
The youngest was 23. The oldest, 73.
The numbers are almost certainly an undercount as the study doesnâ€™t include homeless people who died while in a health care setting.
Reacting to the report, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury called the deaths â€œpreventable."
â€œWe often say at Multnomah County that people canâ€™t be successful in life without having a roof over their heads. They canâ€™t participate in drug and alcohol treatment or mental health treatment. They need a roof over their heads," she said.Â
"But this report goes one step further and says that housing is a matter of life and death," said Kafoury.
Homeless experts say factors that exacerbate the problem include: Uncertain job opportunities, income inequality, and the fact that Portland has one of the hottest rental markets in the nation.http://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-oregon-homeless-deaths-on-streets/