I must write to express my alarm at the proposed House Bill 3115. As I read it, this gives over all public spaces, city, county and state parks, sidewalks, city parking structures, city halls, public trails, to a homeless and transient population without regard to, input from, or concern for the rest of the people who live in Oregon and pay the taxes to support and maintain these public facilities and spaces.
To invite the homeless to camp in the places where children play, families picnic, seniors walk, and people exercise is simply a terrible, irresponsible idea. Homeless camps are an unsanitary, unhealthy, dirty, dangerous public health hazard, a trashed blight on our cities, and their spread to public spaces should not be encouraged and supported by measures, such as the poorly considered HB 3115.
There is no question the problem of homelessness and all the attendant subsets of drug abuse, mental and emotional instability, poverty, crime and random violence need to be addressed at a governmental level, but HB 3115 is not the tool for the job and will not accomplish the desired and necessary solution, but will in fact only exacerbate the troubles.