Salem Continues to See Shelter Solutions, Enforce Laws

Posted on December 22, 2019

News Release from City of Salem
Posted: December 20th, 2019 5:34 PM

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem is continuing to look for ways to meet immediate shelter needs for the city’s unsheltered residents, said Kristin Retherford, acting city manager.
“Existing warming shelters don’t have the capacity to meet the needs of people who have been camping; however, they will continue to operate under their usual cold-weather schedule,” Retherford said.

In the meantime, the City is continuing to enforce, on a complaint-driven basis, new laws effective Dec. 16 prohibiting camping and abandoned property on public right-of-way.
“In the meantime, volunteers are still needed through a variety of organizations to help our unsheltered neighbors,” she said. To help those in need, you can give your time at a shelter or meal site, your change, or food and personal items to groups and organizations helping those in need in our community.

“Our primary concern is public health and safety for all of our residents, including those without shelter,” Retherford said. Retherford asked the community not to deliver clothing or food items directly to campers. No matter the size, contributions will go the furthest toward making a difference if they are donated through these established organizations.

When Salem Police are called upon to enforce the new camping rules, they also try to connect individuals with services that can help them. So far, compliance has been voluntary and no citations have been issued. Our goal is continued voluntary compliance. City representatives understand that citations or arrests aren’t a long-term solution.

If you have a concern about camping in your neighborhood, you can report this and other concerns to the City using this link.

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