Report: 47 homeless deaths in Portland last year

PORTLAND — The state Medical Examiner has released a review of 47 homeless people who died on the streets of Portland last year.

The report shows that the most frequent causes of death involved drugs and alcohol, and most of the victims were men.

The review is the first of its kind in Portland. It focused only on deaths investigated by the medical examiner, so it likely undercounts the fatalities.

More than two-thirds of the deaths were among people between the ages of 30 and 59. The majority occurred during the fall and winter, but the cold was not the primary cause in any.

Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury says the numbers are unacceptable, and the report will help determine how to best spend scarce dollars to save lives.

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