|Hillsboro Neighborhoods Coalition||
Actions to Address Camping and Panhandling
Downtown residents and businesses have raised concerns about camping, camping debris and panhandling. At an April 12 HNC meeting Hillsboro Police representatives spoke about reducing the frequency of these problematic behaviors.
1) File a trespass order with the Hillsboro Police Dept. The order authorizes police to remove the campers without notification from the property owner and without the owner being on site.
Example: At 2 a.m. a officer notices camping at a property with a trespass order in place. The officer will remove the campers.
Trespass orders are good for two years and can be obtained by calling the Hillsboro Police Community Enhancement Team (503) 615-6645 ; or by stopping by the Main Precinct- 250 S.E. 10th Ave.
2) Initiate the nuisance property process in situations where camping and problematic behaviors are occurring on private property owned by another person or entity. The police must receive 4 calls about the property in a 30 day period. Calls can be in regard to building violations (living in temporary shelter without proper sanitation), disturbing the peace and/or public urination, for example. Property owners can be fined and the police can obtain a court order to remove the campers.
3) Call the police regarding camping in public spaces. The police will handle these on a case-by-case basis.
4) Connect campers to homeless services by calling Community Action Organization at 503-693-3294.
5) Panhandling- Call the police if panhandling occurs in such a way as to prevent you from going about your normal business or you are made to feel uncomfortable or threatened. Passive panhandling is protected speech.
6) Panhandling on private property is trespassing. Call the police if it is an ongoing problem or a person refuses to leave when asked.
7) Request additional patrols by calling HPD. This can be used as a stand alone measure or with a trespass order.
8) Camping debris on private property is the responsibility of the property owner. Call Public Works or Code Enforcement for debris on public property.
9) Needle disposal- Contact Code Enforcement to dispose of used needles. Improperly disposed of needles are a significant health risk.
Oregon House Bill 3230
House Bill 3230 Signed by Gov. Brown
On July 20, 2015 HB3230 was signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown.
We want to once again extend our sincere thanks to Rep Gallegos for listening to the concerns of the coalition and bringing all parties to the table in support of this much needed bill.
House Bill 3230 sponsored by Rep Joe Gallegos and Co-sponsored by Rep Susan McLain passed out of the Oregon House Committee on Healthcare with a unanimous vote!
HB 3230 requires registration of community-based structured housing facilities that provide housing and services to individuals with mental illness and/or addictions and protects residents and employees from retaliation for filing a complaint.
As we have seen in downtown Hillsboro, reliance on these important programs has increased in the last few years. However, the state regulatory structure has not kept pace. The Oregon Health Authority does not currently have the statutory ability to register these programs making it impossible to know their locations, standard of service and adherence to minimum safety standards.
HB 3230 will close this regulatory gap improving the delivery system for clients, employees and communities across the state.
Community-based residential programs are developed at the local level and are an integral component of the mental health and addiction system in Oregon. Programs provide housing services such as:
· Medication storage and assistance
· Money management services
· Food preparation
· Skills training
HB 3230 is supported by Disability Rights Oregon, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Oregon Residential Providers Association and the Hillsboro Neighborhoods Coalition.
We will keep you updated as the bill works its way through the legislative process!
Washington County Community Corrections:
A recent audit by a Washington County grand jury (pg. 9-17) found a “lackadaisical attitude” toward security and a “permeating sense of leniency” with regard to Washington County Community Corrections policies and operations. The grand jury audit was conducted after a resident of the center was arrested and charged in the brutal 2014 murder of his girlfriend while on an approved community pass. Other individuals under Community Corrections, Parole and Probation have committed rape and sex abuse, carjacking, or have a sexual predator status and have walked away from the center.
Ask the City of Hillsboro to seek permanent voting position(s) on the Washington County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) and prioritize downtown safety and livability. The LPSCC makes recommendations to the County Board regarding use of funds and siting of offender housing and services.
Washington County Jail, Courthouse and Community Corrections Center are located in Hillsboro’s downtown area. These countywide services impact safety and livability, yet the city has been largely absent in the discussions surrounding operations, service location and provision.
Unlike the Washington County Jail, which is supervised by the Sheriff, Washington County Community Corrections is supervised by the Washington County Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners appoints the Community Corrections Director who then oversees the Community Corrections Center and Parole and Probation.
It is hard to deny the impact of the Washington County’s criminal justice activities on the City of Hillsboro and downtown specifically. It is in the best interest of the city to actively engage the county on policies and resource allocation to mitigate impacts on its citizens. Obtaining a permanent seat on the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council and associated sub-committees is a constructive way to begin the effort.
From now on individuals and groups with concerns regarding operations and oversight of residential facilities will have a clear process for submitting complaints alleviating the lengthy delays and expenses incurred by the Coalition. This is a huge step forward that improves the system for clients, employees and communities.
Thank you Representative Ben Unger for recognizing the importance of the issue and setting the stage for a collaborative effort between Addictions and Mental Health Division and the Hillsboro Neighborhoods Coalition!
In August 2014 the Addictions and Mental Health Division went live with a new complaint web form and policy for resolving all complaints including concerns about residential facilities operating without a license. AMH has created and filled the position of Business Continuity Coordinator to direct complaints to the appropriate division within the agency, track the response and resolution. The policy sets a resolution deadline of 30 days wherever possible with feedback to the person filing the complaint.
We would also like to thank all of you for your continued support as we work to ensure the livability of downtown Hillsboro that is uniquely impacted by the statewide issues of residential facility oversight and operations.
We are excited to be working with Representative Joe Gallegos in the upcoming legislative session.
Make a Donation: Your contributions are necessary to the HNC's continued advocacy. We are actively involved at city, county and state levels to ensure our community remains a great place to live and raise our families.