The mayor and other city leaders do not have a date for when police will start issuing warnings and then tickets with possible jail time. For now, they are working on finding places for the campers to go, like expanding day shelters and libraries. The city’s been put on notice with the Oregon Law Center, which is representing dozens of homeless who intend to sue to block the ordinance.
One of the biggest issues is funding new shelter sites. Locations like the latest organized camp in Southeast Portland with about 100 people in pods and getting services.
The city was sued last year by a group of disabled people who successfully won a settlement that forced the city to clear tents from sidewalks for accessibility. There was also supposed to be more shelter space created. But so far there’s only one of six planned mass camps operating.
On what the city and county should do next, attorney John DiLorenzo says, “I would withdraw immediately from the joint office which is a management disaster. Why? Because I could save the $40 million and use it to build shelter space.”
DiLorenzo was the counsel who filed the lawsuit with the city over disabled access.
The heat is getting turned up around the country to solve the homeless crisis. In Sacramento, California, the district attorney just filed a lawsuit against the city for its failure to clean up homeless camps, calling it a public nuisance, and demanding a camping ban and more shelters.
Thursday afternoon, Portland city and county leaders will meet together to hear the latest report on how to improve the joint office and homeless services.