Homelessness is everywhere, and we all have our opinions. You are all entitled to yours, for sure. Irrespective of where you land on the issue of dealing with unhoused people, it is happening and their numbers are growing. Cities across Oregon were required to produce a map showing where people could camp overnight. The City of Hillsboro engaged a vast array of agencies and professionals to develop a map. Careful rules were set forth and in July of this year, an ordinance was passed at City Hall.
Here is a look at the Public Information released through the City View newsletter sent to Hillsboro residents.
Check Out The Maps Where Camping On Public Land Is Allowed
Private Property Owners can allow camping on their properties for up to 3 tents- there is an approval process. Check out the rules right here! https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/home/showdocument?id=29639
There are a lot of rules and a lot to unpack here. Hillsboro is doing a great job of getting shelters built and addressing this problem. The money is available but the problem is immense and not getting better fast. Camping will not be allowed, as I understand it, if we reach a point where the community has enough shelter beds. That is highly unlikely, so we want you all to understand these rules.
Why allow camping in Public at all? State Law in Oregon and Federal Lawsuits set the precedent that it is not illegal to be homeless and that people have a God-given right to sleep. So, having no options is illegal and inhumane.
As of now, rules are in place across the City of Hillsboro. If you see someone on private land, you can call code enforcement. Those camping on Public land in public rights of way need to comply with the rules, which can be found right here: https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/services/community-support/homelessness-initiatives/camping-rules
The reason we need rules, shelters, and programs? We have all seen these sorts of camps on public and private land and understand their problems for the campers and the public, too. These new rules and maps help us all get to a better place!