Urban Campground 101
2-Part, 176-Minute AudioCourse with 9 Guest Speakers
On July 22, 2020, Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke in the District of Oregon struck down ordinances in Grants Pass, Oregon, that ban camping in parks and bar people caught sleeping there from coming back.
While the 2020 Blake vs. Grants Pass ruling has persuasive authority in Oregon, the 2018 Martin vs. Boise judgement has binding authority for All Western States in the Ninth Circuit. In 2019, the Supreme Court declined to accept the appeal of the Ninth Circuit decision.
Clarke wrote that he “encouraged the city to begin ‘thinking outside the box’ and find ways to reduce homelessness in Grants Pass, which has some of the least affordable housing in the Pacific Northwest.” (source: Daily Curier)
“Arresting the homeless is almost never an adequate solution because, apart from the constitutional impediments, it is expensive, not rehabilitating, often a waste of limited public resources, and does nothing to serve those homeless individuals who suffer from mental illness and substance abuse addiction,” Clarke said. (Source: The Oregonian)
With the successes of its Urban Campground, Livability Team, Hope Village and Clean Sweep programs, among others, the community of Medford (Southern Oregon) is definitely thinking outside the box with creative solutions to its homeless problem. In Urban Campground 101, you will learn these legal rulings and explore economic and other reasons why “statutes prohibiting sleeping outside” do not really work.
Walter Fonseca and Ed Johnson with the Oregon Law Center will start us off with a better understanding of the two rulings in Boise and Grants Pass. Then, we’ll transition into talking about economic and other reasons why “statutes prohibiting sleeping outside” do not really work, even if they are legal, as well as the specific factors in Southern Oregon that led to the creation of its Urban Campground that opened July 27, 2020, in less than 30 days from approval to opening.
We’ll conclude the conversation with nuts-and-bolts of creating and operating an Urban Campground with tips for communities interested in trying something like this in their areas.
- Walter Fonseca (Staff Attorney) & Ed Johnson (Director of Litigation) with Oregon Law Center will talk about the Grants Pass and Boise legal decisions.
- Kevin Stine (Medford City Council President) & Brian Sjothun (Medford’s City Manager) will talk about why an Urban Campground is needed in Medford (Southern Oregon) and the approval process by the Medford City Council of a “temporary” Urban Campground (approval: July 2, 2020).
- Officer Geoffrey Kirkpatrick (Medford Livability Team) will share challenges in the Greenway including more than 90 campground fires, why the Urban Campground is needed, the screening process for entrance, and community partnerships in addressing the needs of homeless as a result of COVID-19.
- Chad McComas (Rogue Retreat) will share NIMBY (not in my back yard) responses from the community, testimonials from Rogue Retreat participants at the city hearing and Rogue Retreat’s role.
- Liz Adams (Rogue Retreat) will speak about community partners coming together to create and open a “temporary” Urban Campground in less than 30 days (opening: July 27, 2020) as well as resources being offered to campers to help them get off the streets and onto a path to self-sufficiency.
- Chris Hyde (Rogue Retreat) will be our voice on-the-ground sharing barriers to overcome and practical techniques for everyday management of the “temporary” Urban Campground.
- Matt Vorderstrasse (Rogue Retreat) will discuss fundraising and how to set yourself up to receive community in-kind and cash donations for set up and operations.
Session 1 Topics (87 minutes)
- Affordable housing crisis
- Rulings: Blake vs Grants Pass and Martin vs Boise
- Impact of rulings on Western States
- Value of public and private options
- Practical solutions rather than focusing only on what’s wrong
- Addictions & Mental Health
- Specific factors in Southern Oregon that led to the City of Medford approving its first Urban Campground on July 2, 2020, and the first Urban Campground that opened July 27, 2020, in less than 30 days from approval to opening.
- Livability team
- Building relationships
- Referral system
- Addictions & Mental Health at the Urban Campground
- Status of Urban Campground after 51 days
Session 2 Topics (89 minutes)
- Nuts-and-bolts of creating and operating an Urban Campground within 30 days
- NIMBY-ism = Fear of the unknown & misconceptions
- Partnerships, collaborations, nonprofits, breaking down walls, setting aside ego’s
- Livability Team: Monthly meetings with nonprofits
- Continuums of Care (CoC)
- Low barrier campground, addictions/mental health & advocacy
- Budget and wishlist for operations
- Organized vs dis-organized campgrounds
- Media coverage
- Success stories
- Plans to expand the Urban Campground from 25 to 40 and then to 80
Cost: $99 (25% off)
For special group rates, email us at HopeU@RogueRetreat.com.