The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Wednesday that will reverberate in Bend and throughout Oregon.

“We affirm the district court’s ruling that the city of Grants Pass cannot, consistent with the Eighth Amendment, enforce its anti-camping ordinances, against homeless persons for the mere act of sleeping outside with rudimentary protection from the elements, or for sleeping in their car at night, when there is no other place in the city for them to go,” the decision reads.

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City of Bend’s attorneys again and again have reminded the community that this series of Federal court rulings (backed by the Supreme Court) grant Constitutional safeguards to people who--often through no fault of their own--must conduct their minute to minute lives in survival mode.

However, there is a minority hardcore in our otherwise compassionate community who willfully refuse to accept this judicial reality and who consistently call for the arrest and imprisonment of people who find themselves living n Bend under desperate circumstances.

I know it is a minority, because of their failure to get enough signatures to qualify a ballot measure for Nov. 8 that would have prevented the City of Bend from supporting facilities like Veterans Village, 2nd St. Shelter, the pending facility for women and children on church property on 27th St., and other initiatives that enshrine and institutionalize our local caring spirit.

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