“Stop the Sweeps” Heard by City Council on Monday, November 13


One of  Many Sweeps Signs Staing  Opposition to Portland’s Failure to “Stop the Sweeps”  at a Recent Rally at City Hall.

Sweeps Kill According to Medical Evidence.


A “Stop the Sweeps” Rally Announced for Friday, Septeber 15, in front of Portland City Hall by This Sign.

Jim Smith and Gary Fisher, “Swept” from Marginal Way Prepare to Move Their Belongings to Commercial Street Recently.

On Monday, November 13, 2023, the Portland City Council will hear an ordinance amendment  that places a moratorium on encampment sweeps in Portland.  The proposed ordinance also lifts the “emphasis” area designation – all through April 30, 2024.

On April 10, 2023, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that shows encampment sweeps, bans, move-along orders and clean-ups that forcibly relocate individuals away from essential services will lead to substantial increases in overdose deaths, hospitalizations and life-threatening infections as well as hinder access to medications for opioid use disorder (along with other detrimental impacts).

Forcible encampment sweeps and laws that criminalize the existence of human beings are wrong and are violations of human rights……..Local jurisdictions that currently are sweeping encampments should cease displacements and instead focus on connecting individuals to permanent housing, health care and support services as needed the study states.

Emergency shelters in Portland have full beds every night.  Even for the lucky ones with a job or a housing voucher, there is no affordable housing to be found.  For far too many people here, there is simply nowhere to go and nowhere to stay.

In addition to supporting this moratorium on sweeps, please support the health and safety needs of the entire community, create a Plan to shelter and house  homelss individuals, continue efforts to make city shelters more low-barrier and accessible to people who are living outside.

“Maine attracts people from away because it is known as Vacationland and Lobsterland. Unfortunatelly, it is not known as Progressiveland..  It’s gun laws appear to be inadequate for a state with so many gun owners.  Portland’s inadequate rental protections against out-of-control landlords with an assenting City Council is likewise Draconian.   Now the homeless population in Portland is getting the heave-ho from city hall.  The gig is up.  The dirty laundry is hanging out for the nation to see.. Portland is Yearoundland for more and more prople.  City hall needs to step up to the challenges before it rather than burying its collective head in the sand hoping the challenges will go away by themselvs. They won’t.

For more background information on the city’s failure to respond to the “Stop the Sweeps” campaigns, please visit posts dated September 15 and September 26, 2023 .