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Portland trespasses on the homeless

From the open publishing newswire: The Portland Police Department announced plans last month to intensify enforcement of trespassing laws on Oregon Department of Transportation lands. Senior neighborhood Officer Jeff Myers presented the project he developed to homeless activists at JOIN and crossroads on Jan. 15.

People found in these areas will be given warnings and entered into a police database. If found in these areas again they will receive criminal trespass II citations with potential fines of up to $600. The action raised concerns among homeless activists that large numbers of people will be displaced and pushed into downtown business doorways. This situation could aggravate an already strained relationship between downtown businesses and the homeless community.

"It is wrong," said Rob Justus, executive director of JOIN, which works to transition homeless people to housing. "Its timing could not be worse. We are anticipating a lot more people on the street. In the end it punishes people for being homeless."
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