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Illegal to Sleep: Grants Pass’ Cruel War on Homelessness

Apr 24, 2024
the homeless epidemic is inescapable imposing your ban on homeless people is there nowhere else to go? there is simply nowhere else they want to go our city deserves to hold people accountable for their bad behavior voters fed up with the rise in

homelessness

get them removed the push to make arrests and get the homeless out of sight is winning There is alarming support across the US to criminalize

sleep

ing in public spaces and in the coming months protections against criminalization may be overturned in the Supreme Court. Do I protect myself from the elements and risk going to jail or do I not?
illegal to sleep grants pass cruel war on homelessness
And do I risk hypothermia and death? So is it

cruel

and unusual punishment? The Supreme Court will address that issue. In the center is a small town in Oregon. gr

pass

gr

pass

gr pass gr's pass Invisible People founder Mark Horvath investigates what's really going on at gr pass right now they're fining us just for trying to get through 30 citations in a year and a half. I've been to jail five times this year alone, so this park is probably the most controversial. They hit me with a stick that they wanted to drag. We will take them out and beat up the families

sleep

ing in tents because this ruling will determine if cities can arrest homeless people across the country, if that is allowed many cities will try to remove all homeless people from their community , the stakes may be higher, we will ban Those who violate these bans in urban encampments will be arrested and then we will open up large cheap plots of land where homeless people can be relocated instead of addressing the structural inequalities that cause the lack of living place.
illegal to sleep grants pass cruel war on homelessness

More Interesting Facts About,

illegal to sleep grants pass cruel war on homelessness...

Many politicians miss both parties and at all levels ignore proven solutions for

homelessness

and opt instead. for a punitive response that will only worsen homelessness and harm us all criminalization punishes the only group of people who have no power to solve the crisis the dppd made my things throw away and in one of my bags was the ear of my son, my son's forever gone and I only have a part of him, an ear necklace that I keep beer in my heart, you know, those are things that I can't get back, it makes it very difficult, they want to continue, All I can tell people is no. don't forget what it's like to be human, be kind, we're all just trying to survive if your issue is black lives matter, if you care about the experience of lgbtq people, if you care about people living with disabilities , if you care about all the elderly. these traditionally marginalized communities will be affected if those are their problems this is their problem we knew we had to go where it all started and with boots on the ground we met with the co-founder of mint, the mobile integrative navigation team that does outreach and close the gap for the homeless in Josephine County good morning sunshine, did you take your medicine?
illegal to sleep grants pass cruel war on homelessness
I knew that water. Do you need water? I'll get you some water. Okay, thanks, you're welcome. Homelessness and Grant's Pass, eh, we are. I see new people every week here, um, a lot of seniors who are forced out of foreclosures on their homes, etc., many of them have been here for a long time, there are people here who get fined to move the site of their store when the city has not given them an alternative solution to be safe, there is no affordable housing or low barrier shelters and the rent continues to go up and up, so we see more and more people having to live in parks or in parking lots with their cars, that's where the city has designated spots for them right now, but even in these designated areas they have to move to a new park every 3 or 5 days and even then, once they settle back in, they often still They don't let them.
illegal to sleep grants pass cruel war on homelessness
In peace, the police fine us for any reason they can find, littering, being in the buffer zone store, being too big, as you say, they gave me a fine for that. I picked my nose this morning. I have to move. I have to move every week it's ridiculous in itself that you have to pack up your entire camp, all your food, your clothes, your bedding and it doesn't matter if it's raining, snowing, whatever, we have to move if we're there when it happens. It means we should move. they give us a fine for being there it's hell moving from one park to another it seems like every time you get to your tent or set up your camp and start making things habitable again it's time to move again they've done that it's impossible to feel human just because we're homeless like we're not supposed to exist they fine us just for trying to live where are you staying here? this is the house for this week here in what we call Tent City, I hope my 30 day expulsion will end so I can go to the park down the street because it's easier to move a few blocks than to cross the city, you know , my bike trailer and truck have flat tires and I can't.
I can't afford tubes so it's hard to get around, sure I have food stamps but they don't give us enough for a month especially when we can't cook we have to go buy things we can eat in the microwave. At the store I do what I can to make the most of it. Amber has received over 30 summonses in a year and a half, each costing $295, she has no way to pay them. I can't imagine any community having an answer to homelessness by simply pushing through. people from park to park makes no sense the only solution to time in a park is the criminalization of housing it will simply make these camps grow more people will end up in the park and we wonder where this push for criminalization comes from so we ask to an expert From the National Homeless Law Center, our organization has been tracking the criminalization of homeless people for the past 20 years.
We found that these ordinances have been growing as visible homelessness continues to expand in our communities, so Grants Pass, like much of the United States, is experiencing a homelessness crisis caused by homelessness. Since the early 2000s, Grants Pass has more than doubled in size, but it has not doubled its affordable housing stock. The vacancy rate is less than 1%, meaning that if you lose your apartment it's basically impossible to find a new one. Landlords have continued to increase rents. We see residents who have lived there for a long time become homeless. There is no emergency shelter in the community that is accessible to everyone, so once people lose their housing, they are left on the streets as required by law. it's being written if the police see a pillow or a blanket it doesn't even have to be a tent, that homeless person can be cited for

illegal

camping, that's what the Supreme Court is going to decide if it's

cruel

and unusual punishment under our ethics amendment to punish people and enforce these laws even when there is no suitable alternative place for them to go how long have you been here? 5 or 6 years.
I didn't go to jail or have any criminal charges until I was 35 years old. I have been to jail five times this year alone, please are there shelter beds? Yes, there are places where, if you are a Christian and not under the influence of anything, they will test you for a cigarette. We have a shelter, the Gospel Rescue Mission, but it would be a very high barrier and many of the people we serve do not really meet the criteria to be admitted there or deny wanting to go there. It's like being in jail, you can do it.
I don't talk to anyone, he can't go out and he's locked up there doing nothing but housework and praying to the Lord and you can't have your animals. There are many people who have dogs and it is their comfort zone for them. Same with my cat, would you go to a shelter or boarding if there was one, you know, that provided you dignity and you could take your cat, yes I would, yes, a newspaper article said there are 27 rules for check-in For example, I had a family that was new to being here two little kids, mom and dad, mom and the kids had to go separately, dad had to go somewhere else and they couldn't see each other for 30 days, you know, no smoking, not dogs, not drugs, they also have to be able to work physically. so if they have a disability that prevents them from working then they are not qualified to go to the shelter hpal Rescue Mission has never been an option for me.
I was talking on the phone with a woman and it was practically like good. come in and fill out the paperwork we'll give you a key and then I told her that she used a cane and a walker and that it would be great if she could work in the kitchen because that's what I do and she says wait a minute. wait a minute, use a cane and a walker and I'm like, yeah, that wouldn't mean you couldn't do the tasks that we would need you to do, so yeah, right now we don't have room for You and I were like 5 minutes ago, you had room for me, you were happy to have me there and they force the religious program, yes, so I think it's an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening of daily church services that they need. assisting those of us who are not in an organized religion that goes against my religious beliefs being forced to go worship something that is not necessarily my higher power how long have you been here?
I've been on and off for about the last 15 years, but this time I've been out of the parks after three. I used to clean houses and because of co I had lost my job and here I am still trying to find work, still trying to survive and yeah, I'm barely making it. That's right, I'm on the HUD list, it's like a six to eight month waiting list and that's if you can find a place that accepts HUD once you get the voucher and you have to have some kind of income to pay. your share of the rent it's hard to go get a job when you don't feel human because you haven't showered in a week you know it's pretty bad and the people in this community treat us like we're trash they drive by honking like we're hours in the morning they yell at us to get a job and it seems like you take one step forward and they knock you down 10 steps, you know, how long have you been homeless? 6 months 6 months, what happened to me? and my boyfriend we lost our property because they didn't pay the property taxes so I lost my calicos my dog ​​and my yard for 13 years so it's been pretty hard what homelessness is like here in Grand's PA well that stinks.
I like to cook and bake and I can't do that here it is and it's very wet, it's also a bit sad, you know, when you're here and it's raining all the time, I'm blind in one eye and I trip over a lot of things. Despite how old I am growing, you no longer move so easily or get up so easily, that is your home. And at 62 years old, yes, that's your house, yes, it is, it's not very good for me to be. I have a hard time avoiding upper respiratory problems here, and Kim's story is not uncommon.
We met Car Lynn to hear her experience. I am a mother of four children and have 18 grandchildren. I have been homeless from time to time. Much of my life, but most recently it has been almost 7 years since my house collapsed. I have COPD so I have to be in a concentrator. The lung doctor in Medford just told me I could get a transplant, but I can. I didn't get the fan because we can't get it out of the van we are working on to get housing. The mint angels are helping me, they helped me a lot, in fact they got me my phone.
They paid for the service we worked for with the alliance. treatments and they give us f cards for gas, we basically live day to day. I've been there, I've been to Ten City, but sometimes it's a lot hotter here and we don't have air conditioning and sometimes it's a lot colder. We don't have a heater, but it could be worse. You know, prisons, institutions, your desk sounds worse than being stuck here. How did you survive the winter? You know, a lot of blankets the middle of winter. I was on the ground in my tent. on top of a nice warm blanket and less than five more and I have socks on and sometimes I have things that warm my hands, pajama pants and then I eat three or four shirts and a sweater and then a cat hat when I go to bed, These people are just trying to survive, but as it is becoming more and more common throughout the country, some of their loudest neighbors are not looking for real solutions to bring these humans inside, but rather we do anything to get them out of their sight. .
The president of the city council literally said that his goal was to make it so uncomfortable at the Gr crossing that people would be forced to move somewhere else. I mean, I've seen cops break poles, just go and break down doors and break all the doors. I've seen people hold everything up so they can take it away. In fact, an officer asked two different women, and I heard it myself, why do they have salt and pepper shakers? Because we like to season our food and that officer told them both: well, I have a house that is Why do I havesalt and pepper?
I just don't understand, I understand some of them, some of them really understand that we are human too. I am 55 years old, almost 56. I became homeless 2 years and 9 months ago because my husband had just passed away. August 2021 my brother in law laughed at me he said well this will get you out of the house Al I really didn't feel comfortable and safe returning to the house I had lived in with my husband for 25 years in the first 6 months I was here since June 30th onwards I received probably about a dozen subpoenas. I tried very hard to follow all the laws and all the rules.
At one point I had a little grocery bag full of cans and bottles that I picked up and I had a 5 gallon bucket outside my store with a bag in it that had my trash in there, you know, food, trash, that kind of stuff and They came and cited me for littering and I said, do you maintain your house? trash in your room and he says no, but I have a house. I thought, wow, that's cruel and rude. I couldn't think of enough names for her, so what are the new city parks rules and regulations? You have to be 50 feet from any playground 20 feet from any fence line Athletic field sidewalk access path and residential area a drainage ditch or manhole cover no source of open flame at all, oh God, there are so many that we can't keep warm, we can't cook food there used to be barbecues in the park, they took them out, they cut off all the electricity at any of the viewpoints in the park, it's impossible to get a charger for our phones, they've made us almost impossible to even have contact with our families. or looking for a job, anything, hostility is potent in the city and throughout the county, but one park has particularly angry neighbors and the people sleeping in this park were violently attacked while we were in the city, where are we now?
So Tustin Park, no running water here, one outside the house. there is no place to wash your hands so we have to take water to the neighbors here who are deeply unhappy that people camp in the park, so this park is probably the most controversial because the neighbors have a very strong voice opposition and they are the ones complaining and saying get them out, yes, they are trying to say that all homeless people are alcoholics or drug users. All homeless people are not alcoholics or drug addicts. I can say that because I'm not a drug addict.
I'm not an alcoholic, how do you survive here day to day? It's a constant fight over where we are going to get our next meal. Medical attention. Refuge is a constant struggle. The men's program has actually stepped up and they are trying to help as much as they can, the city doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that we have a serious problem. In fact, I have seen normal families, women who have children here sleeping in tents. Joseph in the county had the opportunity to testify. our county a state of emergency for homeless people and get funding from the state and our county decided there was no emergency.
I think they are realizing they were wrong. If you had the funds, what would you do? Low barrier shelters. Urban camps. I mean, I think that's the number one thing with navigation centers, they need a place to go alternative to the parks where they can get wraparound services and I think I'm pretty in tune with this community and I think they'll use that. I'm sure they would use an urban campground or low barrier shelter when we open our emergency shelter. We had a maximum capacity of 49 people and it was packed every night. That speaks of the desire to receive support.
We are in Medford, a neighbor. city ​​right next to Grant's Pass Medford has partnered with nonprofits to create solutions that get people out of the parks and on the path out of homelessness, that's why we're starting with apartments, we have some group housing, We have low-barrier programs, including a congregate shelter medical assistance program. Whether in the collective shelter or in a hotel, the idea is to meet people where they are and then help them take the first step in the direction they want to go, everything is optional and then break down those barriers and then offer them support so that be site management Specializing in case management and 24/7 peer support to help people connect the dots in their life according to their plan for success.
I've seen what happens when a community embraces change and seeks to have progressive tools to give people those steps. get out of homelessness because you can't criminalize poverty and you can't criminalize homelessness recognizing that the lowest point in someone's life doesn't define who they are and depending on the level of program we're looking at, we've gotten between a 25 and 65% success metric for people who are progressing to the next step of Independence. We have seen other communities that are showing that, especially when someone is unsheltered homeless, they enter drug and alcohol treatment if they are discharged. the same environment they were in before, you see metrics ranging from 0 to 2%, maybe 10 or 15%, depending on the program, so even our low barrier program shows success rates of 25 to 35 %, that's tremendous and you allow dogs, we allow dogs, animals and all of these units have heat, air conditioning, lights, an outlet and all those fun things that are in the same place right now.
I think Medford may have been there 10 or 15 years ago, a decade ago, Medford was very worried about what would happen. What would happen if a program like Rogue Retreat opened something like a small Village transitional living house. I'm driving there and it's a nice residential area, yeah, and I'm thinking there's no way we're in the wrong place. Do you know what's across the street? we, uh, preschool, wow, the most terrible thing happens once you give people hope and a place to live, people aren't really homeless anymore and it changes the conversation, it changes circumstances, people want to take those steps. forward in her life and wants to be good.
The neighbors too and what we discovered is that we are integrating very well into this community and being more in a residential community is more dignified for our guests and we are seeing that people assume case management faster and take steps from the low barrier . program in the transitional housing program much faster than what we were seeing in the previous location and I think that has to do with being in a neighborhood that is more conducive to those changes Grants Pass is criminalizing homeless people by moving stores campaign every 5 days, how do you improve your life and here in Medford they are really working to help people.
Medford's solution saves lives and saves taxpayers money. I like staying in the area because this is where I raised my children. My son played little league on this Spaceball field. My 25+ years of history is in this neighborhood. I was a stay-at-home mom because basically any job where I had all the money I was going to be babysitting. I have never been arrested. I have no criminal record. here due to incredibly uncontrollable circumstances and I never expected to become homeless. I never expected to lose my husband suddenly. I receive my first widow's benefit check here. Oh, it's supposed to be today, but I'm not holding my breath because I've had too many disappointments.
The first thing I did was book a plane flight and a motel in Arizona to go see my children and grandchildren. It has been the most difficult of all and it has been the only thing I have not had. able to have control and I miss, I miss my children and my grandfather a lot, um, that way it's starting to rain again, it's been raining on and off, there's a woman who has to move to another park, the volunteers now her They will help you move. Can you imagine having to move from park to park, from park to park?
They invaded her from here, she was supposed to move at a certain time and, um, and she didn't, so when they came today, they were going to arrest her when I found her, she was, she was crying, they really have no idea where they're going. Let's go, yes, it's musical. Parks, it's yeah, and then sometimes there's a bunch of people who don't know, they're invading various parks and so on. then it gets really challenging and then they have to remember which park has 30 days, which one is 21, but yes, criminalization does not solve the crisis, I mean penalizing someone because they have had bad times or they have not been lucky, that is not a crime and the fact The issue is especially for Josephine County where we don't have a lot of funding for our police and Sheriff's Department.
I mean, at one time we only had three Sheriff's deputies for all of Josephine County, which is about the size of Rhode Island. They have other things to do and by criminalizing the homeless that puts a greater burden on them when they could be working real crimes with Samantha packed to avoid arrest, we head to Tussing Park where we hear about a brutal attack that occurred during the night where someone started shaking our tent and shaking it and saying, "Come here, come here, they came this way and lunged at my boyfriend, and um, I didn't know it was coming because I said wait, you know, wait, and just caught , I barely stuck my head out, you know, and he was standing there and he just hit me, they hit me with a stick in the face, yeah, my face, the inside of my mouth was all smashed up and my tooth went through my face, they wanted to stop. hurt someone they wanted to drag him out and beat him up like he thought they were going to kill him, but you know, people like us, you know, we don't bother anyone and they're sitting here attacking us like this and this is ridiculous there's no reason for this.
Happen we have been here about a year and a half. I have a trailer. I was on the street with him and ran into tickets for excessive parking and people have a different impression of everyone you meet. um you know we're not all homeless because we want to, we're on drugs and you know we all come from somewhere and there's a reason we're like that, it's not just because we choose, we don't need to. couple that are for our kids and you know, having picnics, you know, it's just that this is where they designated the people you know to go.
We spent a few days in Grant Pass. We have met wonderful people who are here living in tents and others who are working to help them unfortunately the city does not have shelters or housing to get people out of the tents they actually solve homelessness the city's response It's criminalization people here don't want to camp they have no choice the only reason you want to repeal this law is if you want to be able to continue punishing people and not even bother having a suitable alternative place for them to be. These laws are essentially banishing people from community committees, forcing them out of the public eye. in the same way that in the past we have seen communities use similar laws, the most extreme in Japanese internment camps, and one of the reasons why this case is so important is because right now we have people like former President Trump doing campaign on one platform. that says we want to create a national ban on camping and relocation camps for homeless American citizens.
More than half of Americans are paying unaffordable levels of rent, meaning they are just one bad paycheck, one broken-down car away from homelessness, so this case is What could stand between us and a world where just because someone can't pay the rent they are sent to some faraway relocation camp for the crime, quote, of not being able to pay the rent? The stakes may be higher, that's really scary. future and I don't think that's who we are as Americans reach out to their legislators and fight the growing criminalization of homelessness. For more information on the Supreme Court case, visit Johnson vrsp pass.com and wherever he lives, criminalization will cause homeless encampments to grow.
We need to give people the support they need and that is housing.

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