Umatilla targets homeless camps

EAST OREGONIAN: The Umatilla City Council has banned living in tents.

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EAST OREGONIAN: The Umatilla City Council has banned living in tents.

City Manager Bob Ward told councilors during their Tuesday meeting that at some point in the past Umatilla already had a camping ban, paired with its ban on living in an RV outside of an RV park, but at some point it “fell off the books.”

He said in April volunteers cleaned out the area down by the Umatilla River where the city’s homeless population has traditionally camped, finding evidence of illegal activity in the process. He said since the cleanup homeless camps have been popping up in other places, including vacant lots and on private property. Ward said living in a tent longterm brings up several problems, including sanitation issues.

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