PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A new city ordinance is going into effect that will force around 40 people to move from their tents in downtown Salem.
The new ordinance will ban people from camping and leaving personal property on public right of way beginning on Monday. The Salem City Council considered implementing city-sanctioned homeless campsites to give those affected somewhere to go. But this week, officials said they will instead give more money to established warming shelters organized by Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency.
City Council approved $213,000 to keep warming shelters at Church at the Park on Turner Road SE and First Presbyterian Church on Chemeketa Street NE open every night starting Jan. 1, 2020. The shelters will remain open every night through March 31 instead of just when temperatures drop. The funding will also support additional staff members and beds to help serve more people in need.
All campers will be required to vacate the area within 24 hours of the ordinance notice being posted. When officers arrive to enforce the ordinance, they will be accompanied by area service providers to connect interested campers to available resources, according to the City of Salem’s community and media relationships specialist.
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