Can't Sleep Here

Turns Out Portland Cops Have Quietly Been Arresting People For Camping All Year

Comments

1
Interfering with a police officer is not a delayed reaction. Contempt for police is more a civic duty. This colorable law needs to be challenged in State or Federal Court. That being said, this report sounds as if the only campers who get cited are those who leave their shelters up full time. Perhaps those who sleep outside that pull up stakes during the day are being left unmolested?
2
Those are some real Orwellian names they came up with. "Prosper" for move 'em along, have prison labor clean up the campsites, and "interfering" for existing.
3
Just imagine the money we could save and use to provide services here, if the police would go after those politicians that tell lies to start wars.
4
Imagine the money we could save if we just put homeless people into housing. Are we stupider than Utah?
5
As a small business owner that is directly impacted by homeless camping I feel stuck. I serve children she's 6 months to five years of age. ... As a preschool program providing early childhood educational services it is a shame that nearly 20-30 homeless people don't have better options than the city sidewalks that surround our building. Yes all people have rights and our preschoolers have rights not to see, at such an early age, how the homeless live. We try and protect the children from seeing fist fights, screaming matches, drug deals, public urination and sometimes sexual behavior. We are vigilant
.. Though wouldn't it be nice if we could just focus on the education of our smallest community members? I'm compassionate. ..And I think our children deserve better.
6
Dirk,

I value your reporting. But I have a question for you: what should Portland do when we don't have the funds to house everyone and we have some really unacceptable camping scenes going on. Do we allow campsites to grow, toilet buckets to multiply? What about the meth heads who have alienated their families to the point where they are shooting up on the street?
What about a blue collar homeowner near the Springwater trail- do they have to tolerate
ex-cons shooting up 50 feet from their backyard?

It seems to me that the homeless traveller scene is not as bad this year- but I don't go downtown a lot. Perhaps COPP worked. (I am not sure- and will read all cogent, not foaming at the mouth comments).
7
How much do we tax payers spend for this "no solution" solution of arrest VS what it would cost to create shelters (like in an empty public building) a reliable food resource and some dignity? Many of these folks have jobs - but because "we" here in Oregon remain silent on an increase to $15.00 ph min wage-they can't afford shelter, utilities, transportation, medical care and food. It costs roughly $3000.00 a month per inmate for incarceration costs...It makes more sense to me that if this same money was invested in the suggestions above-we'd have money left over.
Four homeless people spending a month each in jail is about $12,000.00 tax payer dollars...arrest 100 and now the cost jumps to $300,000.00. And what happens to them after they've been arrested then released and lost whatever job they had---seems they'd have no recourse but to go back on the street only to wait to be re-arrested. (recycling humans for profit, imo)
How about we, here in Oregon stop criminalizing poverty and use our scarce resources for some good? I highly doubt many of them want this kind of life.
8
Thanks, Reverend. I don't know that I have an answer to your questions, other than working to provide better services. If it wasn't an intractable fight we'd have it solved by now, and it's understandable the city wants to clear up unpleasant situations.

But I'm also unclear on precisely how this helps. The travelers come in the summer, largely, and much of this enforcement has occurred in January. And once a homeless person is released from jail, they still won't have a place to stay. The shelters are insufficient for the number of homeless people in Portland. It's true a camper might reach out to JOIN or another social services organization but, then again, they might not. So they're back on the street, the very day they were arrested, in the exact same situation except there's a new criminal charge hanging over them. Maybe this convinces people to squirrel away in some bushes somewhere instead of sleeping on the sidewalk, but there's been targeted enforcement in those areas lately, too.
9
Most of the poor who sleep outside spend several thousand dollars per year at the local super market with food stamps.
10
Gee whiz, should we spend taxpayer money on repeatedly babysitting these people giving them "one more chance", etc-- or should we spend taxpayer money on putting them in prison and keeping them there?

I'm going to go with the option that keeps the feces, the garbage and the dirty needles off the streets, every time. Even if it's significantly more expensive. If you can't live in Portland without being a vagrant, then it's time to find somewhere else to live.
11
Considering that Food Stamps is a program of the US Department of Agriculture as corporate welfare primarily for big agriculture and only ancillary for grocery stores, if you remove Food Stamp recipients from the local economy, there could well be employee layoffs from local grocery stores. It would be more profitable to open up the restrooms in the public parks at night, permit night time camping, and provide free day storage facilities for camping gear and back packs. Enforce laws against aggressive begging, and obstructing sidewalks and doorways during business hours. In San Francisco, Carl's Jr, Subway, and a few local greasy spoons are permitted to accept Food Stamps. This also helps to provide a place for the poor to sit besides the sidewalk.
12
Oh right, because turning every city park into an Occupy Portland style shooting gallery would be a great solution.
13
The parks are for everyone. If people are camping in the parks, then there ought to be rangers patrolling. If there are dangerous activities taking place, then they can call the police. This is one of the cheapest solutions. I prefer for the City to designate high rise or underground City owned parking structures with adjacent restrooms, for camping out of site and off the street. Cheap, chicken-wire lockers could be hastily erected, for daytime storage of gear. There's no opportunity for corporate welfare and kickbacks with this idea, however.
14
So if defecating in public would be a violation on this list, suppose one were doing so just as an act of just revenge to be posted here in these musings, would that be an exception?
15
In the first place, the only reason for closing the restrooms in the public parks at night, is to turn public opinion against those who sleep outside that have no other recourse but to relieve themselves in the way of pedestrians. As a method for behavior modification, it's about as effective as the experiment in the movie Ghostbusters, of testing the theory of the Effects of Negative Reinforcement on ESP.
16
No one would care if people set up camp after closing hours in a park (or on an out of the way sidewalk) at night and were packed up, cleaned up, and gone by 8AM. The problem is that there is a small minority of homeless people, "problem homeless", who are simply unable to do this on their own. The reasons why are most assuredly the same that pushed them into homelessness in the first place and prevent them from taking advantage of any longer term resources that are available leading to a state of near permanent homelessness: primarily mental health and addiction issues. We've all seen the "problem homeless": the bike chop shops, the tarp cities that never get taken down, the piles and piles of debris accumulating and spilling into the streets. Any plan to end homelessness needs to confront this most visible aspect of the problem in addition to the sympathetic stories personified by families with kids living in cars and Street Roots vendors.
17
I am the Mother Of the 24 year old Holly Kleinow. I am in Florida, have been trying to bring her home for 1 year 3 months, I haven't received any cooperation from anybody. The only time I know where she is, is when she goes to jail, and according to records she hasn't been arrested since May 8th. I don't know if she is alive or dead. Can't list her as a "missing person" because she doesn't fit the criteria. Holly is not alone in this world yet I can't get anyone to give me any direction. I am sure she is not the only homeless person out there that has family somewhere. Holly is a problem homeless right now, If there were just somebody there to assist us out of state family members we could probably take some of them off Portlands hands.
18
Right on, Bridger!

Kelly Bader Green, if you were really sincere, you'd get your ass to Portland, even if prohibitive finances put you in the same boat with your daughter. She's an adult, and if she rejects your support, so be it. If I were you, I'd stay in Florida, and quit expecting everybody else to fulfill your imagined responsibilities.
19
“The fact is that the modern implementation of the prison planet has far surpassed even Orwell’s 1984 and the only difference between our society and those fictionalized by Huxley, Orwell and others, is that the advertising techniques used to package the propaganda are a little more sophisticated on the surface.
Yet just a quick glance behind the curtain reveals that the age old tactics of manipulation of fear and manufactured consensus are still being used to force humanity into accepting the terms of its own imprisonment and in turn policing others within the prison without bars.”
― Paul Joseph Watson
20
Ms. Green,

Good luck. Reach out to Portland.
21
Right on, Bridger, have been to Portland twice. I have walked the camps lets not assume everybody sits around and waits for society to take care of our business. This is my child you insensitive asshole. And this is exactly what I have encountered. Money isn't the problem getting assistance for a drug addict when the person doesn't want it.
22
Why did you abandon her to return to Florida if you are so concerned, Ms Green?

Come back to Portland, and spend as much time with her as she can tolerate. Don't attack the drug problem. Support her in her other pursuits, without being overly generous or too enabling. For instance, you might buy a tent, and offer to share it with her. Maybe you could interest her in going to college and help her to apply for guaranteed student loans and grants?

You can't pester her about it, but you need to be as persistent as she will put up with and have other things to talk about and activities to share. Take her to a movie once in awhile, or something like that, to change the subject away from confrontational issues.
23
Better yet, find a therapist trained by Jay Haley.

http://www.mri.org/strategic_family_therap…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Fam…


Leaving Home: The Therapy Of Disturbed Young People
By Jay Haley

http://books.google.com/books?id=kZhqx4ciS…
24
Obviously, my idea of "camping" is quite different than yours Dirk.
25
Dread uptown I appreciate your input, I didn't abandon her in Portland I sent her there to be with her biological father, he left her . This situation is goes on and on and her story will not be posted here. Thank You for your suggestions.
26
Reverend Bit Me, Thank You, I will be back in Portland in a few weeks. And I have reached and the people have reached back. I always feel welcome. I just need some laws to change.
27
No amount of new laws will compensate for so much as the least little bit of bad parenting, Ms Green. Did you really expect that selfish loser who you divorced to all of a sudden change and take responsibility, just because you foisted your daughter to his dubious care?
28
Mayor Hales is like a nazi to homeless; encouraging police to harrass people with no place to go + the airbnb thing is only going to worsen affordable housing that is already a major issue. He cares more about the landlord association backing him than anyone else- thats his real motive.

ARE WE STILL GOING TO RECALL HIM? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT PLAN?
29
Dread.... put a sock in it.
30
RECALL FOUND: http://rethinkportland.wordpress.com/recall-novick/

....sorry to interrupt your conversation people
31
I think pinning this on Hales shows a lack of understanding of Portland's political system. Portland's police have been bad despite 30+ years of attempted fixes.

The problem is that, despite all the attempted oversight, the police union in Portland is exactly the reason citizens get suspicious of unions.
32
You know, Xauen, Ms Green shows up here from thousands of miles away, identifies herself and outs her daughter while insinuating that the girl and her dad have issues which could be solved, if only laws which protect Constitutional Freedoms including the Right to Privacy were to be abolished. Then, Ms Green has the audacity to say, that her daughter has further issues which won't be discussed here, as if somehow there actually might be some merit to such derisive insinuations, and as if Ms Green were to be demonstrating some sort of integrity by leaving the worst to our imaginations by her not being specific.
33
Kelly Bader Green: Send me an email at dirk@portlandmercury.com if you read this. I may be able to assist you somewhat.
34
A new study by the National Law Centre on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) tracks similar attempts to criminalise street living in 187 cities in the US.

“Many cities have chosen to criminally punish people living on the street for doing what any human being must do to survive,” it states.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/am…

(We have to learn this from a British, rag. --DU)