In Portland Oregon, more than 1,600 homeless persons sleep outside every night and shelters are full with long waiting lists. Without shelter from the elements, homeless people do what any desperate person would do: find a blanket, a tarp, a bush, or a bridge, and try to get sleep and a measure of warmth. Yet to camp outside, even as a means to survive being homeless, is illegal in Portland and in most cities across the US, through the violation of an anti-camping ordinance with no exceptions for people experiencing homelessness. As a result, people who are left to sleep on the streets are forced to keep moving throughout the city all night or risk getting fined or sent to jail. A decent night’s sleep is a human necessity. How do we expect our most disadvantaged citizens to get back on their feet, obtain employment, and secure housing, if they are sleep-deprived and suffering?
Please send a letter today to urge your City and County Representatives to immediately adopt a practical and humane “10-Minute Plan to End Homelessness” that at least allows people the freedom to meet their own basic needs until better options are available. In the absence of viable housing alternatives, it is vital that we show our governing politicians that the general public supports humane solutions that accommodate all our citizens!
Please take a few extra minutes to add your own comments or personalize the entire letter; it makes a difference! If you support only parts of the proposed plan in the letter, please feel free to omit or change the letter to your liking.