Protest: Stop Criminalizing Homelessness

September 26, 2023 @ 4:00 pm

Join us on Tuesday, September 26, with housing advocates and unhoused residents to protest Portland City Council's continued criminalization of homelessness.

The current problem

In the midst of an acute housing crisis, Portland police continue harassing unhoused residents, going so far as to seize and destroy their personal belongings – likely violating their constitutional rights.

These sweeps are government-sanctioned violence against certain Portland residents simply because they cannot afford housing. In addition to risking constitutional rights, seizing and destroying property risks the loss of life-saving items, such as sleeping bags, medicine, and legal and medical records – not to mention personal mementos that one may consider treasure but the government considers trash.

The city's failed solutions

We're rallying against the city manager's proposal to warehouse unhoused people on the outskirts of the city. The proposal would add bunk beds to existing shelter space without increasing space, staffing, or other essential resources. This would artificially inflate the number of open shelter beds, giving the city and police another excuse to conduct these dangerous sweeps as they pretend reasonable alternatives to camping outside are available.

This proposal underinvests in homeless services, shelter, and affordable housing. Instead, it will rely on laws and policies that punish and criminalize unhoused residents for engaging in life-sustaining activities.

Immediate call to action

We appreciate that the city sees the need for more shelter space, but the current proposal is not the solution. First, the city must immediately stop the sweeps and criminalization of homelessness before it considers any policy solutions. Second, Portland City Council should send this policy discussion to the Health and Human Services and Public Safety Committee. The measure is currently being pushed by the city manager, but it should reside with an elected body designed to address these issues.

TAKE ACTION: Protest and share testimony to council

Council publicly shared the proposal late on Friday, September 22, and required that all written comments from the public be submitted by 12PM noon on Monday, September 25.

Don't let this attempt to stifle dissent silence your voice. Join us on Tuesday, September 26, at 4PM at City Hall Plaza to protest the sweeps and call for sound solutions that invest in Portland's people – not more criminalization and law enforcement.

Additionally, you can share your public comment by attending the council meeting in person, or you can email councilors directly by sending your written comments to


4PM – 5PM
Protest outside City Hall
Council workshop on proposal that would continue allowing dangerous sweeps