A public camp-out designed to raise awareness about the criminalization of homelessness in Portland and across the nation, was set up Friday at Southwest Fourth Avenue and Washington, downtown.
Participants from the group “Right 2 Survive” set up tents along the Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade route for the 24 hours that the city allows camping in the city.
Each year, the city permits pitching tents along the Grand Floral Parade route. Every other day of the year camping is criminalized, causing houseless people to seek shelter in doorways, under bridges and in bushes, in hope of surviving the rain and cold without shelter.
“What kind of message is the city sending?” asks long time homeless advocate Leo Rhodes. ”They are saying it is okay to camp for recreation, but if you are one of the thousands of people in Portland without housing or shelter you will be fined and harassed for erecting a structure for survival.”