In Portland, Oregon, homeless people are being told they must go to a shelter, sanctioned encampment, or face jail.
On October 21st, 2022, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Dan Ryan held a press conference announcing a citywide camping ban. In order to enforce this policy, the City is creating three massive sanctioned encampments of up to 250 people each.
When asked who would run the camps, Mayor Wheeler said he was speaking with Urban Alchemy, a nonprofit based in California. He announced there would be a group of City and County officials visiting Los Angeles in the following days to tour the Urban Alchemy camps.
Who is Urban Alchemy?
Urban Alchemy is on their way to becoming one of the most powerful profiteers in the homelessness industry; creating a dangerous precedent for cities in the U.S.
A nonprofit based in San Francisco, Urban Alchemy receives nearly $61 million through contracts managing shelters, sanctioned encampments, and hygiene stations.
Increasingly, and a cause for major concern, they are tasked to patrol public streets, parks, and transit stations despite not being a licensed private security company.
Urban Alchemy has come under increased scrutiny and controversy, including several lawsuits regarding civil rights and labor violations.