Action Alert
Support the Right to Rest Act in Oregon

We are making it a crime for people to be homeless. Our new report, "Decriminalizing Homelessness: Why the Right to Rest Act is the High Road for Oregon," shows that basic acts of survival are being criminalized all across the state.

Oregon’s Right to Rest Act will protect people who are homeless from  laws that prevent rest and extend privacy protections to those who live in public.

Nothing has been done at the state level to address this growing problem — and time is running out for Oregon legislators to take action.

Tell your Oregon legislators that you support HB 2215 — the Right to Rest Act.


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I am writing today to ask you to support of the Right to Rest Act, HB 2215.

A new report from the ACLU of Oregon shows that people experiencing homelessness, without a private place to rest, are targeted through discriminatory laws in cities and counties across the state. The Right to Rest Act will protect people who are homeless from discrimination and against the enactment or enforcement of laws that prevent basic survival.

ACLU of Oregon's research shows that cities and counties have 224 laws that criminalize homelessness. Criminalizing necessary life-sustaining activities like sitting, lying, resting or eating in public, when someone has nowhere else to do these things, further entrenches people in homelessness.
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Homelessness and housing are a growing problem in Oregon. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), between 2014 and 2015, the number of unhoused Oregonians increased nine percent, the third highest increase nationwide. In 2015, HUD counted 13,100 adults and children experiencing homelessness in Oregon. Of those Oregonians experiencing homelessness, HUD found one-in-ten was a military veteran, one-in-seven was identified as having a serious mental illness, one-in-five reported being a victim of domestic violence, and nearly one-in-three were families.

And the numbers are likely even larger than the HUD count reveals. For example, the Oregon Department of Education counted 21,340 K-12 students who experienced homelessness at some point in the 2015-16 academic year. The HUD count also does not capture people who are "couch surfing" or temporarily living with friends or relatives.
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