A homeless woman says life on the street is "a piece of cake" thanks to free meals and lax drug laws.
Wendy is one of the many residents in Portland, Oregon, US, who after falling on hard times, have shunned a work and a roof over their heads for a relaxed existence filled with street parties.
Her comments have infuriated Americans who have seen the impact of law changes and lack of policing in the in the west coast city, lead to scores of tents being erected.
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Wendy told homeless activist Kevin Dahlgren: "It’s a piece of cake, really. I mean, that’s why you probably got so many out here because they feed you three meals a day.
"They’re loving us to death. You don’t have to do s*** but stay in your tent or party or if you smoke of a lot of dope, you can do that."
The former business owner explained that she “used to be like everybody else” with her own hair salon in Washington, house and Lexus, but lost everything after losing her husband.
Wendy hopes to bounce back and once again cut hair, but has suffered a major setback since her dentures were stolen from her tent.
Dahlgren runs the charity We Heart Seattle with an aim to end homelessness by “empowering not enabling” others.
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In Oregon from last February, anyone found with personal-use amounts of drugs, regardless of whether its heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone or ecstasy, is fined without facing criminal charges.
According to NYPost, within six months of the law change, fatal overdoses skyrocketed and less than 1% of drug users who accessed drug treatment services opted for rehabilitation programmes.
Rather than seek the help provided, those living without a roof over their head in Portland have been left to party all night and sleep all day, Wendy said.
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City officials have counted 6,600 homeless residents across more than 700 encampments which the city’s Mayor Ted Wheeler has pledged to remove and ban.
Wendy continued: "Here you don’t have any police. There’s no police around. You get hurt, you’re screwed because they’re not helping anybody. You don’t see them anywhere.”
Dahlgren said on Monday that he had launched a fundraiser for Wendy to afford a new pair of dentures and revealed that his charity video series had helped connect Wendy with her brother.
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