COMPASSION 4 HOMELESS PDX
Compassion and Practical Solutions
Compassion 4 Homeless PDX is a community-based effort to respond to our homeless crisis with compassion and not arrests. In 2017, more than half of arrests in Portland were of homeless people, a group who comprise less than 3 percent of the population. This policy is costly, ineffective and cruel. We seek to shift the strategy to one of compassion that helps people who are living on the streets rather than criminalizing them.
Leo Rhodes, Street Roots vendor, testifying at City Council 10/3/18
For City of Portland to Adopt a Compassionate Response to Homelessness
We, the undersigned residents of Portland, are concerned about the crisis facing our homeless neighbors. However, we don't believe that hiring more police to target homeless people for low-level non-violent offenses is the answer to the crisis we are facing. A recent report by the Oregonian shows that the Portland Police are already arresting an astounding number of homeless people multiple times each year. Homeless people make up less than 3 percent of the city’s population, even by the largest estimates, and yet they accounted for more than half of arrests by Portland Police last year, and 86 percent of those were for low-level offenses. This kind of targeting of the homeless not only does harm to an already vulnerable population, but takes police resources away from solving and preventing violent crime and leads to mass incarceration.
We demand that Mayor Wheeler and the City Council:
• end the targeting of homeless people by the Portland Police.
• reduce the number of police and use the savings to increase access to transitional and permanent affordable housing, and mental health and addiction services.
• allow self-governing camps organized by unhoused people to address needs for shelter, community and safety.
Elliott Young, Professor of History Lewis & Clark College
Crystal Maloney, attorney
James Ofsink, community organizer
Reiko Hillyer, Assistant Professor of History, Lewis & Clark College
Kaia Sand, Executive Director of Street Roots
Sarah Iannarone, former mayoral candidate
Jo Ann Hardesty, NAACP President, Portland Branch (2015-18), candidate for City Council
Gregory McKelvey, founder of Portland's Resistance
Cameron Whitten, Lead Advocate - Brown Hope
Nadya Okamoto, founder of Period Movement
Bobbin Singh, Executive Director of Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC)
Teressa Raiford, candidate for mayor
Jules Boykoff, Professor of Political Science, Pacific University
Michael Fuller, attorney
Ibrahim Mubarak, founder of Right to Dream 2
Margot Black, founder Portland Tenants United
Rabbi Ariel Stone, Portland Interfaith Clergy Resistance and Congregation Shir Tikvah
"They want to be treated like human beings"
We asked Portlanders what they thought about the fact that more than half the arrests in the city in 2017 were of homeless people. Here's what they told us.
"There needs to be more empathy and care for the people out there on the streets."
Kaia Sands, executive director of Street Roots, says, “A lot of things that are legal inside are illegal outside, in terms of sleeping, in terms of going to the bathroom, in terms of just those basic needs of human life. And when we don’t have the infrastructure in place, then people’s existences themselves are criminalized.”
"We are fueling mass incarceration by targeting our most vulnerable populations."
COMPASSION NOT COPS 2
Fyndi Jermany, Jerry Harp, Layoni, Bill Michtom, Heather Franklin and Sarah Iannarone explain why criminalizing the existence of people living on the streets is counter-productive and morally wrong. As Bill Michtom puts it, "So little of what seems to be made into crime is actually criminal behavior."
"If you designate surviving as criminal, well then they're conducting criminal acts. But tell me what kind of option do they have? No more sweeps."
"Sweeping people like trash is not OK."
HOMELESS ADVOCATES ASK PORTLAND POLICE TO REDUCE HOMELESS ARRESTS IN DIVIDED DEBATE
October 3, 2018
PETITION ASKS PORTLAND CITY LEADERS TO STOP CRIMINALIZING HOMELESSNESS, INVEST IN HOUSING
July 12, 2018
CONTACT COMPASSION 4 HOMELESS PDX