Portland Considers Banning Daytime Camping for Homeless People
“There are currently hundreds of unsanctioned, sometimes dangerous and often squalid homeless camps across all 146 square miles of the city of Portland,” said Democratic mayor Ted Wheeler.
Portland, Ore., is facing a crisis of people living on its streets. The number of homeless people in Oregon has increased by more than 20 percent between 2020 and 2022. To address this issue, the city is considering a proposal to bar homeless people from camping in public spaces during the daytime.
- Homeless people would have to clean up camp between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
- The ban would apply to public parks, some sidewalks, and areas near schools and daycares.
- Violators would get three warnings before facing a fine of $100 or time in jail.
Mayor Wheeler called the homeless crisis a “humanitarian catastrophe.” However, Portland activists are calling the proposal “a punch to the gut.”
“Asking homeless Portlanders … to carry their homes on their backs for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, will heighten mental and physical distress, hitting houseless and front-line workers like a punch to the gut,” said Sandra Comstock, executive director of Hygiene4All, which advocates for “unsheltered” people.
The proposal comes days after Portland agreed to remove homeless tents from sidewalks after the city was sued by disabled residents who said the homeless encampments violate “their right to equal access to sidewalks.”
Portland businesses are also fleeing the city due to rising crime. REI, coffee shops, Cracker Barrel, and myriad other businesses have left. Meanwhile, the city is giving millions of dollars to “anti-racist” groups that won’t say what they’ll do with the money.
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