The popular comedy show Portlandia lampooned Portland as “the place where young people go to retire.” That’s not entirely true – Portland is the place where everybody goes to retire.

Don’t want a day job and you finally realized that your fine arts degree is useless?    Daddy won’t support you anymore and you’re looking for free social services?  Do you love to ride beat-up old bicycles and drink cheap beer? Well, my friend, Portland, Oregon is definitely the place for you!

The first thing to do when you get to Portland is try to get on the Oregon Trail card.  Over 800,000 Oregonians (22% of the population) are on this food stamp program.  The card is aptly named – because Portland is the transient paradise that you’ve been looking for!

The kind people of Oregon have made it even easier for you to migrate here and sponge off of the system with the state’s income tax structure.  That means that everyone who is actually fully employed here (a minority) can properly pay for everyone else!  Since there is no sales tax, there is no way to tax tourists or the those who make money through black market means.  Transients and drug dealers live here for free!

That makes a huge difference to you – that same McDonald’s hamburger that cost you $1.09 in Seattle or San Francisco will only cost you $1.00 in Portland!

Don’t have a place to stay?  Join the Right 2 Survive encampment in downtown Portland!  That’s right, you can pitch a tent for free right in a centrally located parking lot, in full view of everybody that drives through the main thoroughfare, and there’s not a damn thing that the city can do about it.  

The Portland government wouldn’t let the property owner put food carts on the gravel lot due to some bureaucratic regulations, and wouldn’t let him pave it either, so he basically gave the city the middle finger and let the homeless setup a shanty town there.  Their dispute is your gain!

If for some reason you can’t talk your way into Portland’s premier free lodging, don’t fret. The weather is Portland is mild year round and is known for its great camping.

Good places to setup camp within city limits include Sullivans Gulch, the woods by the rail yards, and my favorite, Forest Park. Forest Park, touted as the largest city park in America, is 8 miles of wooded hillside. It serves as the idyllic home to hundreds of squatters.

A favorite Portland pastime is to hangout on the benches at Waterfront Park and gawk at the attractive women jogging by. You can even park your shopping cart and catch an afternoon beauty sleep there if you want.

If all the suitable camping spots in Portland proper are taken, simply hop onto one of the Tri-Met light rail trains, take it out to a surburb, and camp there.  

Sure, you’re technically supposed to pay to use public transit – but there’s nothing stopping you from hopping right on the trains.   Tri-Met rarely checks your ticket – and there’s no way to automatically enforce payment like in New York and London – so they rely on honest commuters and companies to pay.  Even if you do get caught, what are they going to do – write a ticket to a fake name and kick you off?

Awesome Light Rail Camping Spot


Take the MAX Blue Line from downtown to the woods by Nike World Headquarters.

If you can’t find employment in Portland, which is almost a certainty, you can make money from one of our mayor’s highly touted green jobs.  Collect empty bottles or cans and you get five cents for every one that you recycle.  Collect twenty of them and get yourself a tax-free McDonald’s hamburger!

When you’re bored with collecting cans and want to get some beer money, you can earn some by begging on the highway off-ramps.  Claim your spot by getting there early as you’ll have plenty of competition.

Portlanders are nice people but really gullible.  They experience warm fuzzies in their stomach by giving you their spare change…you don’t have to tell them that you’re just going to spend it all at the liquor store!  You are actually doing the community a favor by giving schmucks an outlet to deal with their white middle-class guilt.

Don’t suffer the indignity of having to take a dump on the sidewalk ever again. Portland has been busy installing $60,000 outdoor toilets so that you don’t have to. The city commissioner is trying to turn this into a profit center by exporting this cutting edge defecation technology to other cities. I’m sure that other cities are lining right up to decorate their neighborhoods with these modern art masterpieces!

If you want to get with “the technology age”, just head over to the Multnomah County Library. Free heat and Internet all day long – where do you think that I’m typing this from?

You’ll never go hungry in Portland.  The Portland Rescue Mission, Union Gospel Mission and Blanchet House all hand out free meals twice per day!  You can’t help but find the convenient downtown locations, as the line of people waiting for a free sandwich stretches out for blocks during lunch and dinner.  It’s almost like having a family reunion twice per day. This is a great place to make new business contacts!

Bored of the free bologna? Go gourmet and take a swing by one of Portland’s many food cart pods.  Here you’ll find a captive audience just waiting for you to guilt them into buying you food. Getting free food is easy – just walk up to somebody, pretend that you know them, shake their hand and make some small talk for a minute.  Them tell them you’ve had a hard time making ends meet and you’d appreciate it if they’d buy you a meal.   Works damn near every time.

If the promise of free healthcare clinics isn’t enough to coax you into moving here, Portland City Council just unveiled the brand new Bud Clark Commons Building in Portland’s lovely Pearl District.  This brand new, fifty four million dollar ($54,000,000) building has 130 single room occupancy spaces reserved exclusively for low and no income individuals.

Sure, at the Common’s astronomical cost of per $415,000 per room, the city could have just bought 300 houses and rented them out to low-income families.   They could purchased nice, existing one bedroom condos in the neighborhood for half of that amount. Heck, they could have even used the money to help working families ward off foreclosure.

However, the local government, in their infinite wisdom and giving nature, thought that it was a better idea to turn the most prime real estate in the city into a commune and spread out some of that taxpayer wealth (especially to their developer buddies connected with the Portland Development Commission)!

The Commons has a free medicine take-back program – staffed entirely by volunteers. It’s just one of the ways that the residents give back to the community.

Hopefully this article has convinced you to hop on the nearest boxcar and head to Portland.  The kind, hard working taxpayers of this city are funding all of these social services to help you out – please immigrate here and take advantage of it!

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One Response to Visit Portland Oregon – A Transient Paradise

  1. donnio says:

    A few years ago I would have thought this a funny joke but now I feel that this is valuble info that I should hang on to.

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