[Photo Credit: By Loren Kerns from Tigard, Oregon, USA - Portland streets, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98835330]

Democrats in Oregon Seek to Decriminalize Homeless Camping

Despite requests for assistance from locals already frustrated by the state’s homelessness situation, Oregon Democrats have reportedly introduced a measure that would legalize camping.

Additionally, the bill gives homeless people the right to sue for up to $1,000 if they are “harassed” or told to move.

The housing law was introduced at a time when, according to Oregon Public Radio, homelessness in the state increased in 2022 and citizens in Portland and Eugene raised concerns about the detrimental consequences of homeless encampments.

The People’s Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program, which would give 12 monthly $1,000 payments to people who met the following requirements: were homeless, were at risk of becoming homeless, had a severe rent burden, or made at or below 60% of the area median income, would be run by the Department of Human Services.

Aloha Senator Wlnsvey Campos introduced the legislation in the state senate.

The $1,000 installments might be used to pay for rent, unexpected costs, food, daycare, or other items or services that the recipient wants.

Payments would specifically target “BIPOC” individuals, persons over the age of 58, people with disabilities, veterans, young people who are homeless, and families with children.

Portland State University would carry out a research on the costs, advantages, and policy alternatives for offering financial aid prior to the program’s implementation.

In the event that the pilot program is a success, the DHS would develop a strategy for handling the monies.

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