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KOIN 6 News

‘A crisis’: City of Portland to alter unsanctioned camping rules

By Jami Seymore,


PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) — Next week, the Portland City Council will vote on a camping ban that would take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

A number of places would also be banned from camping, including parks, docks, sidewalks sites near schools, construction and existing shelters. It also stops anyone who’s camping from blocking homes and businesses.

From ideas to solid plans, there’s not just one method used by the City of Portland when it comes to tackling the homeless crisis.

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One solution announced by Mayor Wheeler Thursday was a proposed ordinance focused on the encampments seen around town, changing unsanctioned camping policies to comply with Oregon law.

City Commissioner Dan Ryan says when the mayor’s directive was announced, he was speaking with a small business owner whose employees often don’t feel safe because of crime at nearby campsites.

But the camping ordinance is just one solution and as the city heard directly from locals and neighborhood associations Thursday night at a meeting with NWNW Coalition Neighbors, and there are more concerns.

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One neighbor’s concerns surrounded drug use and crime in camps and the need for behavioral and mental health services. Others brought up the impacts of Safe Rest Villages, and how there can be accountability with the taxpayer funds being used for homeless services.

“We have to accept this is a crisis and as a state and a city and a county. All governments have to line up to take action,” Ryan said.

KOIN 6 News asked Commissioner Ryan, as an elected official, how he plans to turn the concerns he heard Thursday into action.

“We have no more time for just slogans, and we have no more time to just keep pointing fingers. It’s time for us to build, build treatment centers, build safe rest villages, build places where people can heal and become whole and move forward,” he said.

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