October 26, 2009
The Oregonian's editorial board looked at the City's urban camping ban in today's piece, "Needed: 'Surge capacity' to shelter the homeless."
Portland's camping ordinance, which prohibits outside camping, has been challenged in court. The City is currently engaged in settlement discussions.
With unemployment, foreclosures, and hunger all on the rise, and with winter on the way, the time to review options to relax the rules around camping is now.
While no decisions have been made, a number of ideas are on the table, including allowing the homeless to erect tents or use tarps in limited locations and times, and allowing churches to permit limited camping on their property.
The Commissioner hopes to have a final plan to a new camping ordinance before Council in November.