Homeless Camping in Oregon Could Result in Fines

(AmericanProsperity.com) – Oregon is cracking down on homeless camping since a new law established that homeless people who camp in Portland, Oregon, and reject offers for a shelter could be fined up to one hundred dollars or sentenced to one week in jail. In addition, if there aren’t any shelters available the same penalties will apply for those who are blocking sidewalks, using heaters/starting fires, or having their belongings too far outside of their tents.

Ted Wheeler, the Mayor, said that these rules will take effect immediately. “Addressing the issue of unsheltered homelessness in our city is a complex and urgent matter, and I believe this ordinance represents a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to manage public spaces effectively,” he continued.

People who accept offers of shelter will not be penalized, and for those who are cited, the court will determine the fee or if it’ll be waived. The law does say that they would push for people to find shelter or housing instead of putting them in jail.

The Mayor’s office stated that this rule was a part of the state laws to put reasonable restrictions on how people camp publicly. Prior to this, there was a rule that banned camping totally during daylight hours, but it’s been put on hold as there is a lawsuit currently challenging it.

This measure has been enacted in Portland and many other U.S. cities as they deal with the increase in homeless people and homeless encampments. Officials have stated concern around the encampments, saying that they need restrictions to keep the streets safe and sanitary.

The U.S. Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not cities can punish people for sleeping outside when there is no shelter space. It’s the biggest and most significant case brought to the high courts regarding the situation.

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