Tell the City Council to support Councilors Trevorrow’s and Rodriguez’ amendment to stop the sweeps of homeless camps!

Do you care about the dignity and well-being of our unhoused neighbors in Portland? Do you want to make a difference in their lives and in our community? If so, then you need to act now and make your voice heard!

The Portland City Council will consider a historic proposal that would institute a moratorium on the cruel and inhumane practice of sweeping homeless camps until April 30th. This proposal, sponsored by Councilor Anna Trevorrow and Councilor Roberto Rodriguez, would amend the city code to allow unhoused individuals to camp in public spaces, with some reasonable exceptions (certain distances from schools and other defined areas). The numbers of unhoused individuals in Portland are such that even with shelter capacity expansion, people are going to be sleeping outside; this policy will prevent the forcible separation from life-sustaining belongings during the coldest and deadliest months of the year.

Why is this proposal so important? Because sweeps are not only cruel and inhumane, but also harmful to public health and safety. Sweeps disrupt the lives of people who are already struggling with trauma, poverty, mental illness, and addiction. Sweeps force them to move from place to place, losing their belongings, their community, and their sense of stability. They also increase the risk of disease outbreaks, overdoses, and deaths among the unhoused population.

Study Shows Involuntary Displacement of People Experiencing Homelessness May Cause Significant Spikes in Mortality, Overdoses and Hospitalizations

National Health Care for the Homeless Council, April 10, 2023

Sweeps do not solve the problem of homelessness. They only make it worse. They also waste taxpayer money and resources that could be better spent on providing housing, services, and support to people who need them. Sweeps are not a solution. They are a symptom of a broken system that fails to address the root causes of homelessness.

That’s why we need your help. The City Council will vote on this proposal on November 20th, after a first reading on November 13th. We need you to tell the City Council that you support compassion, dignity, and human rights for our unhoused neighbors. We need you to tell them that you oppose sweeps and want them to end.

City Councilors Propose Concrete Action on Encampment Sweeps: Pausing the City’s Anti-Camping Ordinances for the Winter Will Save Lives

Press Release, November 5th, 2013

Contact the City Council

Send an email to to show your support for this amedment. To make sure councilors see your message, try to submit messages before Sunday November 12th, 12pm.

Sample Message

My name is <your name> and I reside at <your address>.

I urge you to support the amendment proposed by Councilors Anna Trevorrow and Roberto Rodriguez which would institute a moratorium on the sweeps of homeless camps. This amendment would allow people experiencing homelessness to camp in public spaces, with some reasonable restrictions, until April 30th.

This amendment is not only humane and compassionate, but also sensible and effective. Sweeps are a failed policy that harms both the unhoused and the housed communities. They violate the human rights and dignity of people who have nowhere else to go. They disrupt their access to services, health care, and harm reduction. They increase the risk of hospitalizations, overdose, and death. They also waste public money and resources that could be better invested in housing and supportive services.

Sweeps do not reduce homelessness. They only displace it. They also create more hostility, resentment, and stigma towards people who are already marginalized and vulnerable. They erode the trust and cooperation between the unhoused community and the city officials and service providers who are trying to help them.

That’s why I urge you to vote in favor of this amendment. Please show your leadership and courage by standing up for the rights and well-being of our unhoused neighbors. Please show your vision and wisdom by supporting a policy that is based on evidence and best practices. Please show your humanity and compassion by ending the cruel and ineffective practice of sweeps.

Thank You