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Street Outreach in Sweet Home, Oregon

Posted on November 10, 2019 by Jonathan

Sweet Home is a small rural town of under 10,000 people.  It has no shelter or day center for it’s unhoused residents, so like most rural unhoused these people also go unsheltered. I currently do Street Outreach in Sweet Home, it is one of the very few resources available to these folks.  Shortly after publicly announcing the intent of the city to move forward with plans for this Exclusion district the Street Outreach Response Team had a very disturbing morning.

On September 27th, 2019 while doing street outreach in Sweet Home we discovered that nearly every unhoused person we came in contact with had been cited and were trespassed from public places.  This included a severely traumatized and heavily pregnant young woman who was simply trying to rest in a public park. There was not one other person in the park while the police were citing her.  She was not causing problems.  She was resting.  Please remember that there is no place for this woman to rest legally.

 

Front Citation

Back Citation

Several other of the folks cited that morning were congregated at one of the few bus stop s in town after receiving their citations.  Across the street sat a Sweet Home police officer.  We interacted with the group for at least 20 minutes.  The officer sat across the street the whole time. I cannot say why the officer sat there, only that it felt oppressive, like the cited were being watched post citation.  
The Mayor, Greg Mahler, and City Manager, Ray Towry, appear to be in charge of planning the business exclusion district. City Counsel meetings are still being held on the topic.  

 

Sweet Home is a small rural town of under 10,000 people.  It has no shelter or day center for it’s unhoused residents, so like most rural unhoused these people also go unsheltered. I currently do Street Outreach in Sweet Home, it is one of the very few resources available to these folks.  Shortly after publicly announcing the intent of the city to move forward with plans for this Exclusion district the Street Outreach Response Team had a very disturbing morning.

On September 27th, 2019 while doing street outreach in Sweet Home we discovered that nearly every unhoused person we came in contact with had been cited and were trespassed from public places.  This included a severely traumatized and heavily pregnant young woman who was simply trying to rest in a public park. There was not one other person in the park while the police were citing her.  She was not causing problems.  She was resting.  Please remember that there is no place for this woman to rest legally.
 

Several other of the folks cited that morning were congregated at one of the few bus stop s in town after receiving their citations.  Across the street sat a Sweet Home police officer.  We interacted with the group for at least 20 minutes.  The officer sat across the street the whole time. I cannot say why the officer sat there, only that it felt oppressive, like the cited were being watched post citation.  

The Mayor, Greg Mahler, and City Manager, Ray Towry, appear to be in charge of planning the business exclusion district. City Counsel meetings are still being held on the topic.  

 

 

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