[Hpn] Portland, OR - City Plan Impacts Homeless Portlanders

Homeless Daily News Homeless Daily News <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Fri, 16 Aug 2002 12:14:11 -0500

August 16, 2002                                   Contact:
For Immediate Release                         Chuck Currie

City Plan Impacts Homeless Portlanders

Portland – This morning Mayor Vera Katz endorsed policy initiatives that
would allow the Portland Police Bureau to move people who are homeless off
downtown sidewalks if they are sitting or lying down.    The City of
Portland offers no day shelter for those who cannot access emergency
shelter or housing because of long waiting lists.  A so-called “sit-lie
ordinance” was first proposed by the Association for Portland Progress, a
downtown business group that backs other controversial laws like the City’s
anti-camping ordinance.

Mayor Katz is taking this action under existing ordinances passed by the
Portland City Council that were not meant for this purpose.  Other members
of the Portland City Council have expressed opposition to the “sit-lie”
ordinance proposal and the Mayor’s executive action ensures there will be
no public debate before City Council about her decision.

22 of Portland’s best-known religious leaders sent a statement to Mayor
Katz and the Portland City Council two months ago concerning Dignity
Village that called on them to, in part, “support innovative efforts that
develop permanent solutions to end homelessness.”  The statement went on to
say “we further re-affirm our opposition to the anti-camping ordinance, and
other attempts to limit the civil rights of homeless Portlanders.”

          “The Mayor should suspend her plans and call together religious
leaders, social service agencies, downtown business groups, and those who
are homeless to address the real needs to people living outdoors,” stated
Chuck Currie, director of community outreach at Portland’s First United
Methodist Church.  “These punitive actions do nothing to resolve the real
issue of people living in our streets.”

Chuck Currie
Director of Community Outreach
First United Methodist Church
1838 SW Jefferson Street
Portland, OR 97201
503-228-3195 ext 215

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