(Thanks to G for drafting these.)
Laws and Policies
(Subcommittee of OE Homeless Solutions Committee)
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
An informal meeting was held, as some thought the meeting had been canceled. In attendance: Genevieve, Majeska, Michael C., Ann.
Ann passed around the court case, Lehr v. Sacramento, a case that was ultimately settled b/w the homeless and Portland. The class action claim was rejected. Majeska thinks plaintiffs would be needed for a case in Eugene.
Ann will send a link to a 75-page report, which includes information on Dignity Village, among other things.
Other possible resources: National Alliance to End Homelessness, RLUIPA (concerning religious freedom).
Majeska: Lauren R. won her lawsuit and there was an article in the Oregonian [Josh Schlossberg case]. Carol B-C observes municipal court nearly every day and will be a resource.
Majeska will put together a reader-friendly document on her research so far on Eugene ordinances and policies the impact homeless.
Some examples of laws and policies discussed: the exclusion zone, which seems to unfairly target the homeless and a renewal vote is coming up soon; prohibited public camping; trespassing on private land; all the requirements and restrictions on letting someone camp in your yard, which can result in a lien on the party’s home; police can report a vehicle used for sleeping and when the homeless person is cited a second time, police can tow the vehicle; and vehicle places expanded to tents.
Genevieve hopes the City will look anew at a semi-permanent to permanent site for the homeless, even though the City is refusing to look at it (using zoning as an excuse). It would solve so many of these complications with one fell swoop.
Majeska believes that laws that make it so difficult for homeless to legally sleep should be our first priority. However, since the exclusion zone will be voted on soon, that will be on more people’s radar.
Genevieve suggests a priority list might look like this: sleeping and eating; medical (including mental health) care; exclusion zone, long-term “permacamp.”