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Homeless street fight

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High Five
Thursday, July 16, 2009
A city ordinance that banned sitting on sidewalks was declared unconstitutional last month. But now business owners are complaining about increased harassment of customers by homeless, and police have no law to use to solve the problem.

The result is a resurgence of tension between downtown retailers who want to make the streets safe for shopping and advocates who say homeless people have an equal right to the streets, particularly when there's nowhere else to go.

Nothing Portland has done so far has worked well -- the judge's decision last month marks the second time the sidewalk ordinance has lost in court. Two city commissioners are making another run at the problem this week, holding public meetings to get ideas about what to do.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

 

Comments   

 
Aaron K
0 #1 don't give money to street peopleAaron K 2009-07-16 15:21:30
Give money to organizations that help people and don't allow them to buy drugs and alcohol by giving them cash. Many of them don't want to work and flat out never will. This is a very complicated issue that became much worse when we basically tossed out all our inpatient medical assistance and forced all the mentally ill onto the streets. Some people, not all, are homeless out of choice. Those people should be forced to get assistance through places like the Salvation Army and other regulated outlets for food, medical assistance etc. We can build additional shelters for sleeping. Beyond that, they need hope and a reason for living and giving them $1 in cash that just enables them to continue buying cigarettes, alcohol and drugs will never accomplish that.
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