Homeless street fight

A ruling on Portland’s sidewalk-obstruction ordinance complicates the homeless problem.

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A city ordinance that banned sitting on sidewalks was declared unconstitutional last month. But now business owners are complaining about increased harassment of customers by homeless, and police have no law to use to solve the problem.

The result is a resurgence of tension between downtown retailers who want to make the streets safe for shopping and advocates who say homeless people have an equal right to the streets, particularly when there’s nowhere else to go.

Nothing Portland has done so far has worked well — the judge’s decision last month marks the second time the sidewalk ordinance has lost in court. Two city commissioners are making another run at the problem this week, holding public meetings to get ideas about what to do.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.