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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

PETITION

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.  


Co-Sponsors:

Institutions

Portland Civil Rights Law Office

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA-Portland)

Oregon Justice Resource Center (OJRC)

Don't Shoot Portland

Village of Hope

Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP)

Portland's Resistance

Portland National Lawyers Guild

Enlace

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Portland, Oregon

Oregon Poor People's Campaign

Street Roots Vendor Political Engagement Committee

Portland Assembly

Sisters of the Road

Resolutions NW

Right 2 Survive

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Oregon)

Individuals

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

Colin Jones

"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.

FYNDI JERMANY

"There needs to be more empathy and care for the people out there on the streets."

KAIA SANDS

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.”

REIKO HILLYER

"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."

ALYSSA PARIAH

"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."

NIKKI WILLIAMS

"Sweeping people like trash is not OK."

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HOMELESS ADVOCATES ASK PORTLAND POLICE TO REDUCE HOMELESS ARRESTS IN DIVIDED DEBATE

October 3, 2018

Oregonian

PETITION ASKS PORTLAND CITY LEADERS TO STOP CRIMINALIZING HOMELESSNESS, INVEST IN HOUSING

July 12, 2018

Oregonian

June 27, 2018

Oregonian article that uncovered the truth about policing of homeless in Portland.

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SR_Village of Hope sweep Feb. 2 2018_Kai

July 6, 2018

Street Roots Commentary: Resources should go to housing, mental health and addiction treatment outside of the criminal justice system

CONTACT COMPASSION 4 HOMELESS PDX

Email:

KGW: Homeless Crisis 10/3/18