Oregon Homeless Bill of Rights
The Oregon Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is one part of 3 statewide campaigns in California, Colorado and Oregon. The Homeless Bill of Rights is a grassroots organizing campaign fighting to end the criminalization of poor and homeless people’s existence. The campaign strives to ensure that all people have the basic right to live where they choose without fear of harassment and criminalization at the hands of the police. This campaign is a way of working collectively with groups possessing different talents to address the many injustices that we face in our communities. We are building the power to create a social justice movement that will create a society where we can all thrive.
The Oregon Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is hard at work to build statewide power. This year we got the Right2Rest Act, HB 2215, introduced in the Oregon legislature with co-sponsorship from Pilusso, Dembrow, Greenlick, Nosse, Power and Hernandez. We recently got some horrible news that Representative Jeff Barker refused to schedule the Right2Rest Act for a work session in the Assembly Judiciary Committee. What this means is that the bill cannot move forward through the legislature this year. While they may have silenced us in the Oregon state legislature, they will not limit our collective power. Organizers are strategizing now around next steps for the campaign to demand a life free of criminalization for poor and homeless people in Oregon.
2017 HB 2215 – the #Right2Rest Act Documents:
Oregon WRAP Members
Get Involved with the Campaign
The best way to get involved with the Oregon Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is through one of the 3 core members of WRAP in Oregon. Get in touch with Street Roots, Sisters of the Road or Right 2 Survive to find out about working on the local level to push for change on the state level.
Some other ways to get involved:
- Invite Oregon organizers to come to your community and hold a forum to talk about criminalization and the Homeless Bill of Rights campaign.
- Participate in WRAP’s street outreach to people on the streets in your neighborhood to hear their experiences and build a collective voice around criminalization.
- Provide connections with universities who want to do research on criminalization or others who want to support moving the Right2Rest in 2017.
- Donate to WRAP or the 3 core members of WRAP.
- Send a support letter for HB 2215 on your organization’s letter head.
- Write or call the legislators on the House Judiciary Committee and ask them to vote YES on HB 2215.
If you have questions about the campaign you can write to us or call us:
Call For Artists
Art is crucial to the work of WRAP. WRAP doesn’t just see art as the backdrop to our organizing but as an integral part of the organizing itself. We are looking for artists in Oregon who want to help us to make beautiful and provocative work that can move forward our local and statewide work. If you are interested making some art with the Oregon organizers, send an email to oregonHBR@gmail.com
Here are some examples of WRAP artwork:
Homeless Bill of Rights/ With out housing Power Point Presentation
In 2015, WRAP organizers in Oregon ran the Right to Rest Act in the state legislature. The purpose of this legislation was to decriminalize sleeping, sitting, lying, resting, eating and existing while poor and/or homeless in public. While the bill did not pass in 2015, organizers have re-introduced the bill and are fighting to win in 2017.
Documents from 2015:
April 5, 2017 – Oregon cities and counties are making it a crime for people to be homeless. Our new report, Decriminalizing Homelessness: Why Right to Rest Legislation is the High Road for Oregon, shows that basic acts of survival are being criminalized all across the state.
Our research found that Oregon’s most populous cities and counties have 224 laws that criminalize necessary life-sustaining activities like sitting, lying, resting, or eating in public. When someone has nowhere else to do these things, fines, fees, and a criminal record only further entrenches them in homelessness. Oregonians living on the street are forced make impossible choices to go about their daily lives.