Diaries of the disenfranchised by julie mccurdy

Posted: April 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

so does eveyone have there favorite beverage handy-because seriously folks its far more pleasant to sip and peruse then not—i decided we should probably find out about the laws that are currently in place regarding camping by the homeless in portland-but because I am dealing with a short little span of attention this has to go in parts that I can digest-and absorb to better combat it—

K folks today we are gonna go through the camping by homeless statutes one by one and see where we are at legally— its done so we see what we are really dealing with rather then what the police want us to interpret it as ors 203.77 required elements of local government polices on camping by homeless 1)a policy developed pursuant to ors 203.77 (camping on public property) shall include ,but is not limited to .the following:

a) prior to removing homeless individuals from an established camping site, law enforcement officials shall post a notice,written in english and spanish,24 hours in advance-

my response: ok heres the thing -as nomadic by nature folks— what we do everyday is to move all of our belongings from the site during the day-and then return to spaces in the evening so how is that in reality giving the 24 hours notice-in reality-what we see is the posted notice-when we get there that night -which doesnt in fact give us time to relocate. The other problem with this is the application of it by the police-it appears to me that most of the time this is applied to larger encampments-for the record people sleep in larger encampments for safety and comfort purposes—so what are they saying-that its ok to put the safety of people at greater risk by forcing them to camp in smaller groups-because its prettier?

b)at the time that a 24 hour notice is posted, law enforcement officials shall inform the local agency that delivers social services to homeless indiviuals where the notice has been posted- should I begin to cackle now-cuz that is sure as shit a joke-i can guarentee this is not being done-and it wouldnt be effective if it was since -that little post does not magically open up spaces in shelters-nor does it lesson any loads for social workers-what? Do they now drop everything to accomadate yet another group of people who are dislocated through a system that is ineffective at best and horrific at worst? c)the local agency may arrange for outreach workers to visit the camping site where a notice has been posted to assess the need for social service to homeless individuals where the notice has been posted. Ok can I call bullshit right now? In the year that I slept on the concrete-not once did anyone ever approach me to see what I needed and I got moved as frequently as anybody else-neither did they do so to anyone else I know of—-so the verbadge is lovely and designed to create its own loopholes for officials to slip through quite nicely-may does not mean yes we will do this it means we could if we chose to and to date I have not seen any evidence of anyone choosing to do so- 500. all unclaimed personal property shall be given to law enforcement officials whether 24 hour notice is required or not-the property shall be stored for a minimum of 30 days during which it will be reasonably available to any individual claiming ownership-any personal property that remains unclaimed for 30 days may be disposed of.for the purposes of this paragraph personal property means any item that is reasonably recognizable as belonging to a person that has apparent utility.items that have no apparent unitlity or are in unsanitary condition may be immediately discarded upon removal of the homeless individual from the camping site-weapons.drug paraphenelia,and items that appear to be either stolen or evidence of a crime shall be given to law enforcement officals-

REALLY??????? K SO heres the thing number one most of us out here do not have id to claim our property and obtaining id through the current system takes longer than thirty days so what they are in fact doing is stealing what little belongings we do have under the leg of the law-so that we in fact are forced to start over again with every single belonging we own-number two I have personally witnessed people having there belongings seized because they left their cart to use the restroom–number three-what if at the same time the individual is taken to jail-and is in jail for longer then thirty days-whoops there it is-and the stuff is again lost-too much is left up to interpretation by the police in this case-whom have shown themselves to be notorious for open discrimination towards homeless individuals -number four as to the utility- look I know what serves a purpose and what is purely sentimental in among my possessions yet they are still all in fact my own possessions(lets face it folks we homeless dont have many of these to begin with so we value what we do have) as to being in less than sanitary conditions -have these people who thought this up ever been homeless even for a fricking moment? Quite possibly not-i say this because that statement regarding sanitary conditions of belongings would have been laughed out of the street-we all know how hard it is to keep things clean out here-so now am I to understand that the police can determine which things get tossed based on this? Nice portland……as to weapons I want to be very direct here-because there is a great deal at stake-i am quite possibly the least violent person-and most of the people I know that live outside are also not violent unless they absolutly have to be-its just far more practical that way since risking injury in a fight is a profound hassle when one remembers that we still have to function outside in the street with or without injury—however when I slept on the street- I always carried a weapon….why? Because my life was on the line-and we certainly can not count on police aid so we must defend ourselves our safety and our sanity-now so what this says is that even our defense can be taken from us-so that leaves us as humans and as women defenseless on the street -seriously folks this is not ok—-got any idea what choices women are gonna be making in those situations? Lets think about that shall we- k next week we are gonna take the rest of this apart and I am doing this so that people who want to can participate in coming up with alternatives- there are currently round table discussions through a group of people allied around this issue and how to change it-i would ask at sisters for this information on how to get involved-let me be clear there are several groups and otherwise concerned people involved in this process -i would love to see more of the unhoused involved in this process since it is effecting us the most—- my thought is the more the merrier folks-specifically to all unhoused people this is our chance to make a difference and to participate in determining our own fate-hey what can I say I think its worth looking into-


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