The Medford City Council approved changes to its existing rules for people who are experiencing homelessness and camping in their vehicles inside city limits. Changes at the state level prompted Medford to expand its policy of allowing vehicle camping in church parking lots to allowing nonprofit organizations and businesses to give car campers space as well. The ordinance requires these institutions to provide sanitation services and navigate potential conflicts with neighbors. So far, no churches or private entities have stepped forward to offer space for car campers. We talk with Medford City Attorney Eric Mitton and Melanie Doshier, support services director for ACCESS, about the new ordinance and how it fits in with the city’s overall approach to homelessness.

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Editor’s Note: The city of Medford has charged OPB editor April Ehrlich with trespassing while she was reporting on the city’s sweep of a homeless camp last year for Jefferson Public Radio. OPB and 47 other journalism organizations have asked the city to drop those charges.

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