Portland Mayor Charlie Hales reversed course on his controversial homeless policy that allowed tent camping and sidewalk sleeping, The Oregonian reports. Police now have his blessing to crack down on disruptive tent enclaves that spring up on city-owned land and draw a lot of complaints. He told The Oregonian/OregonLive he does not want a citywide sweep of homeless camps, and campers who cause few problems for neighbors and need a place to sleep will likely be left in peace.
Hales said he lifted his blanket “safe sleep guidelines” because some people mistook them for new law. The policy, enacted in February, was meant to ensure homeless people could sleep through the night without being awoken for violating the city’s camping ordinance. Guidelines permitted tent camping and sidewalk sleeping in groups of six or fewer between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. on city property. In many cases, people didn’t move along in the morning.