In October of 2011, Right 2 Dream Too, a homeless advocacy organization, set up an encampment in a vacant lot on NW 4th and Burnside in Portland. The space sleeps up to ninety people, and is enclosed with a six-foot high fence. The organization leases the space from the owners of the property.
Since its establishment, the site has racked up thousands of dollars in fines for violating the city’s codes prohibiting recreational camping. In December of 2012, an attorney representing both the owners of the property and Right 2 Dream Too filed a suit against the Bureau of Development Services, declaring exemption from the fines. The suit alleges that the fees are unreasonable because the site is not used for recreational camping, but provides temporary shelter for homeless persons. Attorneys for the city then filed a motion to dismiss the case.
A ruling was expected on July 11th, but the presiding judge, Karin J. Immergut, delayed the final decision. That decision is now expected sometime within the next few weeks.
What do you think should be done about Portland’s population experiencing homelessness? Do you think the people at Right 2 Dream Too should be allowed to remain where they are?
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017