A law passed in the far-left state of Oregon permits the homeless to sue the city for up to $1,000 if they feel harassed or threatened.
Known as the “Right to Rest Act,” the bill from State Rep. Farrah Chaichi (D), would essentially allow “anyone experiencing homelessness to use public spaces in ‘the same manner as any other person’ without discrimination for their housing status, including the right to a reasonable expectation of privacy even if they are living in a public space,” according to Newsweek.
“Those experiencing homelessness would also be protected from ‘harassment, citation or arrest’ by local police, public or private security personnel, or even employees of local governments—a proposal Chaichi said is an effort to end the practice of punitive policing against those just because they are poor,” Newsweek noted.
Homeless people could win up to $1,000 while the people found guilty of the infraction could be forced to pay a civil penalty of $1,000. In a livestream on April 5, Chaichi said that the bill aims to decriminalize homelessness.
“There are more than 220 local laws in Oregon criminalizing homelessness, which effectively means if you are ever unable to afford housing, and you don’t have friends or family that you can crash with, or rely on for shelter, you are criminalized,” Chaichi said.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this month, the homeless in Portland, Oregon, began orchestrating their own camp along the shoreline amid confusion over city property:
A homeless encampment has sprung up on a stretch of shoreline in Portland, Oregon, amid a lack of clarity over which entity is responsible for the land.
KOIN reported that a number of structures housing homeless people have been built along a shoreline — leaving the area covered in garbage allegedly left by the residents.
One neighbor, Ric Scaramella, told the outlet that the structures appear to be permanent domiciles, “not tents.”
However, KOIN noted that uncertainty about who actually owns the land has prevented any one entity from addressing the issue.
Citing property records, KOIN reported the land seems to belong to the Union Pacific Railroad, but a statement provided to the outlet by the railroad painted a more complicated picture of the land’s ownership and who is responsible for managing it.
Some cities in America have taken steps to curb the homeless crisis. In Culver City, California, for instance, the local government recently banned people from living in tents as permanent dwellings.
“With more than 170,000 people living in tents and cars and sleeping outdoors on sidewalks and under highway overpasses, California is the epicenter of the nation’s homeless crisis, yet few, if any, communities have been able to make a significant dent in the number of unsheltered residents living within their borders,” NBC noted.