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February 23, 2020

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allowing some temporary camping in Marion Square Park would probably be one of the best short-term solutions for now until we can come up with some better ideas...

Our Mayor (and probably some city councilors) are going to push for a “sit/lie” ordinance—I couldn’t stay silent. So I sent them an email: "Has it really to come to this where we punish people for being poor and homeless? This is a disgrace and reflects so poorly on our community. When did we become so mean and judgmental? WHERE ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING TO GO? I know some of the downtown businesses are not happy—well, it you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem—why don’t they offer some assistance or solutions other than “we want them rendered invisible.” I’ve said it dozens of times, these people need to be accommodated in Marion Park—in some way—near Arches, UGM, Hope and various social services and places where they can get food. Also many homeless have pets and the Arches Day Room only accommodates 40 persons--so where are others to go? There are 1800 homeless-------and only a few hundred shelter beds. Many of the homeless have told me that they have been attacked in shelters, a lot of their meager belongings have been taken and those that have mental illness and are disruptive prevent them from getting sleep. It’s VERY obvious that Salem does not seem to have a clue on how to help the homeless or lessen their numbers, so why not see best practices that other cities--like Eugene and Olympia have used and start implementing them here.

"Homeless people can't be treated like second-class citizens. "
Oh YES THEY CAN!
People that sleep on sidewalks under tarps, strew trash, needles, urine and feces in our downtown ARE second or third class bums.
If you cant recognize the problem, you'll never solve it.

"Has it really to come to this where we punish people for being poor and homeless?"
No.
We USED to treat them that way and had 1% of the problem we have today.
Failing, bleeding ultra- liberal policy is now in full display on the sidewalks of our fine city.
Sad.....

Salem best be careful to heed the federal court rulings of the 9th Circuit Court before going outlaw with this new unconstiruional ordinance.

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