Ms. Witt, et. al., Good Neighbor Agreements do not have the force of law; however, Oregon Harbor of Hope has and will continue to follow the provisions of the GNA developed more than a year ago to govern the operation of the navigation center.
Oregon Harbor of Hope does not have police power nor does the GNA signed in good faith pre-empt federal, state or local laws. Two court decisions – Martin v. Boise and Blake v. Grants Pass declare, as a matter of constitutional law, that neither criminal nor civil penalties may be enforced against homeless persons occupying public property. Sidewalks, rights-of-way and other such property are encompassed by these recent decisions and apply to Portland, including private parties who may be offended by the occupation of public property by persons otherwise without shelter.
In addition to these constitutional protections on public property, neither Oregon Harbor of Hope nor Transition Projects, Inc. can enforce rights nor objections held by private persons on private property. If uninvited persons are trespassing on private property, private owners, at their discretion, must seek self help or contact the Single Point of Contact, the Portland Police Bureau or legally-authorized security agents for relief.
Our intention, always, is to follow applicable law and to continue to advocate for the rights and provide for the needs of the less fortunate among us. We invite you to join us in that mission.