Portland business owner ‘not shocked’ as 911 system overwhelmed by overdoses: ‘People dying in our streets’

A Portland business owner spoke out against the city’s spiraling homeless crisis, accusing officials of failing residents after the homeless filed suit against the city over a daytime camping ban. 

A group of homeless Portland residents filed the class action lawsuit last week, claiming the new restrictions violate both the state law and the state constitution because they subject vagrants to unreasonable punishments, according to The Oregonian. 

Kurt Hudson owns a company in the city, and he joined “FOX & Friends First” Tuesday to discuss why he believes officials have “abdicated their duties” and why he is not surprised by the lawsuit as crime and drugs continue to run rampant. 

CRIME TURNED PORTLAND INTO A ‘HOLLOWED OUT SHELL.’ ITS NEIGHBORS ARE TRYING TO KEEP IT FROM HAPPENING TO THEM

“I’m not shocked by this from an aspect that the city has failed the homeless here, just like they’ve failed businesses and everybody else here,” Kurt Hudson told Todd Piro Tuesday. “There’s a lot of people out there who need help, and the city has dropped the ball from day one… City leadership has abdicated their duties here in Portland, and you see it every day.”

Hudson’s remarks come as Oregon City Commissioner of Public Safety Rene Gonzalez issued a statement on X, warning residents against calling the city’s 911 system unless it is a matter of life or death. 

“Our 911 system is getting hammered this morning with a multiple person incident – multiple overdoses in northwest park blocks,” he said. “Please do not call 911 except in event of life/death emergency or crime in progress (or chance of apprehending suspect). For non-emergency please use 503-823-3333.”

Hudson blamed the city’s strained resources on officials’ “inaction” in dealing with the surge in drugs, crime, and homelessness. 

“The Portland leadership has let us down for two, two and a half years at this point,” Hudson said. “Their inaction early on allowed this to build a build and build, and we’re just seeing more and more of it, and it’s just putting a stress on businesses, families, everyone.”

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There were 2,930 911 overdose calls recorded in Multnomah County between January and June of this year, according to an independent study from the Lund Report. 

Portland police announced last week that 10 kids, with one as young as 1-year-old, have overdosed on suspected fentanyl since June alone. Half of the incidents were deadly. 

“Fentanyl has just exploded,” Hudson said. “Their lack of handling most of our crises from the homeless population that’s exploded in two and a half years, to fentanyl, they’ve just had a hands-off approach, and now they’re trying to play catch up,” Hudson said. 

“It’s dangerous… There’s too many young people at risk, and there’s too many people dying in our streets,” he continued. 

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