Portland City Council bans homeless people from camping on the streets during daylight hours

The city will fine homeless people who sleep or leave their belongings in designated restricted areas between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

The Portland City Council banned homeless people from camping during the day (between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.) in some public spaces in the city. These include: parks, areas near schools and daycare centers and other areas.

Homeless people may sleep overnight in places that are not considered restricted, but must remove all of their belongings from public spaces the following morning. The penalties for those who do not comply with the ban are: a warning for the first two offenses and the third offense would result in a fine of $100 or 30 days in jail.

The ban will go into effect at the end of July.

Portland's homeless crisis

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the ordinance is part of a broader program to address the city's homeless crisis. In addition, he insisted on taking the necessary measures to increase the availability and habitability of shelter sites and services:

Currently, there are hundreds of unauthorized encampments scattered throughout virtually every neighborhood in our city, in a massive 146 square mile area (..) My goal is to have sufficient access to shelter, housing and treatment available so that we can completely eliminate unauthorized and unsheltered encampments in Portland. We must continue to develop viable and compassionate means to connect people to the services they need to get and stay off the streets.

The rate of homelessness has worsened over the years. According to the office of Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, between 2019 and 2022 the number of homeless people who took over streets with their campsites, obstructing sidewalks, increased by 50%.