Portland police are gearing up to enforce a new ordinance that will no longer allow a group of homeless people to camp outside of city hall.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says enough is enough.
Hales was briefed by the Portland Police Bureau last week, and found out that in the past 180 days, officers have responded to 113 calls for service outside of city hall.
Those calls range from drug use, to public intoxication, harassment and even sex all happening outside of city hall, according to the mayor's office.
Hales says it's gotten to be so bad in recent months, he has heard about people afraid to even walk inside of the building, because they are intimidated by the group of homeless people who camp outside.
The new ordinance classifies the sidewalks as a high-use pedestrian area, which means camping overnight will no longer be tolerated.
"We are not suppressing protests," said Hales. "Anyone who wants to come and speak and march and carry signs on this sidewalk, or any sidewalk is still free to do that. That is much different than camping overnight."
Representatives from the homeless camp outside of city hall argue the new ordinance is unfair.
"Housing is the solution, if you move these people two blocks down in front of someone else's business or building, then what have you done?" said a man who identified himself as Lightening. "You haven't solved anything, you've only moved the problem in front of someone else, and you just don't like it in front of you."
Hales says he is hoping to enforce the ordinance peacefully.
Hales would not comment on when the police bureau will force the group of homeless campers to move, simply that it will be sometime this week.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
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