A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Homeless parking ban proposed near shelter

Written May 19th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

Vehicles would need a permit to park on this section of Ninth Avenue under a proposal before the city council.

Homeless people parking their vehicles outside the Helping Hands shelter on Ninth Avenue, or camping there, would no longer be allowed to do so under a proposal the Albany City Council will consider on Monday.

Kristopher Schendel, a code compliance officer with the police department, is asking the council to add two sections of streets to a zone of central Albany where the council in 2020 banned parking without a permit.

The streets affected by the change are Ninth Avenue in front of the homeless shelter, from Jackson Street to Pacific Boulevard, and Jackson Street from the Pacific overpass south to a railroad crossing.

Camping outside the homeless shelter has increased in recent years. Maybe the campers can’t find a place at the shelter, or they dont want to, or they are not allowed in overnight.

Similar camping problems outside what was then the nearby Signs of Victory homeless shelter at 11th and Jackson prompted the council to set up the no-parking-without-a-permit Central Albany Parking Area two years ago.

Now, Schendel says in a memo to the council, “property owners in the area wish to see the zone expanded due to increased drug use, trespassing, littering, and other crimes.”

He adds that the two segments of Ninth and Jackson accounted for 278 calls to the police from May 3, 2021, to May 3 this year. After the original  no-parking area was set up nearby, police calls there dropped from 857 during the eight months beforehand to 475 during the eight months afterwards.

In the zone, employers can get free parking permits for employees and visitors, according to the ordinance. Outsiders can’t get permits and, if caught parking, get a ticket.

The material going to the council says nothing about where people sleeping in their cars on Ninth and Jackson would likely park instead. The council has seen no reports (as far as I know) about any displacement effects of the parking ban in 2020.

The council may also wonder about just why homeless people aren’t spending nights in the respective shelters, and what might be done about that.

For example, might the city use the recent $1 million gift from the state to get those people and their vehicles off the streets altogether? So far none of that money, approved by the legislature last year, has been allocated.

Monday’s meeting is a council work session that starts at 4 at City Hall. It will be screened on YouTube and Facebook too. (hh)






13 responses to “Homeless parking ban proposed near shelter”

  1. TLH-ALB1 says:

    Gifted money better spent to fix some roads around town. Millions of dollars is already thrown away at the homeless problems…quit enabling the situation, if you want to correct it. Allowing people to live on the streets is neither sane nor humane.

    • tammy says:

      Where else do u expect them to go if they can’t det in the shelters ? To all who are talking all thus s#!@ i hope all of u will walk in our shoes for awhile and see wut it is like to be truly homeless. I don’t wish for u to be but……. as for the city y in the he’ll do u not take the $ GIFTED 2 u and do something with it! If I was the 1 who gave it 2 u I would come and take it back. It’s not yours to sit on and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out wut needs to be done with it. ANYTHING! THAT CAN HELP US its not hard 2 figure it out.

  2. CHEZZ says:

    I have spent time in this area on very hot days handing out water bottles and protein snacks to the folks. All but one were welcoming and kind. Some were waiting for room within the shelter accommodations and services. All were using the food provided by the shelter. I am certain the shelter does not want the folks moved elsewhere. They are receiving some services, and that is a step in the right direction. Many clean up after themselves. So, what’s the Plan B???

    • MarK says:

      Plan B is for you to invite them to stay in YOUR neighborhood. See how YOUR neighbors like it.

    • Bob Zybach says:

      How is enabling failure somehow “a step in the right direction?” Many of these people are openly breaking laws, mentally ill, or just plain “hanging out.” Many of these people are in their teens and 20s — what used to be called “working age.” I’m guessing a number of them are here illegally, and millions of others are working for substandard wages and/or using housing and services at taxpayer expense. This never used to be a problem, and certainly shouldn’t be that difficult to resolve, if that’s what people were really interested in doing. “Providing for the homeless” has become a career choice for some, and this represents job security for them. Why no public concern, and resolution?

  3. James Engel says:

    Don’t care as long as they stay off my street. Give’m the mayors & council members addresses to park in front of! My belief for their camping…they WO’NT obey the rules at the shelter so they can’t stay there! Until they take responsibility for their own actions not a damn thing is going to get accomplished.

  4. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    It’s not a parking “ban.”

    It’s a parking “permit.” In other words, pay the tax and get city permission.

    Kinda like a city SDC to help pay for existing and future services to end homelessness, hopefully in the next 10 years.

    Lord knows the past 10 years of public spending were a complete failure.

  5. Tracy foote says:

    The homeless have now moved into the Islands at Pacific and Santiam..tarp made shelter with shopping cart, bikes, and trash!! It has ALWAYS been kept so nice. My question is this.. If the room is an issue then why not find out the old Mega food store can be used for ???

  6. MarK says:

    People and the city need to stop enabling these people. Law enforcement needs to crackdown on these encampments. Maybe these people will take a hint and move on down the road ro “greener pastures”.

  7. Daniel Dietz says:

    Ninth Circuit has ruled against similar ordinances. See Desertrain v. City of L.A., 754 F.3d 1147 (9th Cir. 2014) (https://casetext.com/case/desertrain-v-city-of-l-a).

    “For many homeless persons, their automobile may be their last major possession—the means by which they can look for work and seek social services [ . . .]. Selectively preventing the homeless and the poor from using their vehicles for activities many other citizens also conduct in their cars should not be one of those options.”

  8. Sarge says:

    Don’t we already laws banning camping on the street or atleast parking of vehicle that are not roadworthy?

  9. TB says:

    It’s easy to condemn but I see few responses here that are really and truly worth anything to anyone except maybe entertainment.

    So here goes:
    Isn’t it something that homelessness is not just a local thing but is all throughout the U.S. and the world for that matter. What does that tell us?

    I wouldn’t wish (expensive) homelessness on anyone but I’m being frank here. Yes, homelessness is rather expensive when one doesn’t have a freezer or microwave.
    Everything is “to go” and has to be eaten pretty immediately or will spoil and we all know how expensive fast food is. Also, you can’t really have anytihing of value and/or store items lest they get stolen. Maybe chaining belongings to one’s person while sleeping might work, but who would want to do that?

    Imagine for just a moment, that you are one of these people, which is very possible if something were to happen to where you get your money (usually your job).
    Tell me that you would be able to go the recommended six months after losing your job on savings.
    Most likely, and if you are being honest with yourself, you won’t be able to like any of the rest of us because many of us fret over finances every week, as it is.

    Maybe you can go six months, or longer because you’ve been blessed and/or have worked much harder than the rest of us to pay high rent and still have a nice cash cushion left over. Good for you but not for the rest of us, including those who have now found themselves homeless. Some are there by no fault of their own, e.g. a landlord who decides to retire and sell off your rental unit.
    Instant homelessness! What? You didn’t have the 3X monthly income that your next rental now requires to get back into housed society(all of them, it seems now). Gee, what on earth did you do wrong?
    Too bad. It doesn’t matter anyway. Now, you too are homeless whether you wanted to just be “hanging around” or not.

    People, for the last time, it’s easy to fall into homelessness, much easier than one thinks.
    Most of us have the dignity to prevent it at all costs, enduring hated jobs, even enduring abusive relationships when your and my fates are the same if we didn’t have the unfair/dumb you-kname it boss at work, poor work environment just “to get by and pay the bills” or abusive provider to depend on, for example. Then there’s the whole case of mental issues some homeless experience. Not all, but some experience it. It really exists in homelessness– loneliness, shame, depression are all real things and some housed people who are reading this are experiencing it right now, too, not just those who are homeless.
    Becoming homeless does not mean not being a person. It’s still the same human being who was similar to you moments before.

    Act with compassion. Somehow, I think the kid version of ourselves would not approve of how we’ve become on this issue. It’s easy to sweep it under the rug, or not-my-problem it but society as a whole wants answers. Anyone of us with eyes see the same things but it’s much nicer to see change in the right direction. Won’t you agree? Igaine the images in this story replaced with nice flowering plants and trees, with the absent homeless people housed..somewhere and everything’s been thought out and actually fixed. Wouldn’t that be so nice?

    We all need to be part of the solution and it’snot just “homeless people” being the probelmt, It’s *all* of our responsibility. Since we chose to have society.. fixing this part of it goes with the territory! You have to take the good with the bad. ;-)
    It’s really not as hard as we imagine if people would care and chip in. It wouldn’t be overnight but it can be done and everyone would be happier all around.

    You read this far or have commented here yourself. Why not raise the notch up a bit and go to the next level on this since you’ve put in some thought and effort on this already?
    Think about it when you sit down to have supper tonight how fortunate we are and how you might chip in to help correct this issue that nobody really wants. Please.

    Thanks for your time.

    P.S. For all of you who are in fact makign a difference with homelessness, I thank you for your efforts. We all thank you.

  10. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Thank you Ted. Well stated. And this being Memorial Day, many of the homeless are veterans too…


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 housing Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Queen Avenue crossing Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering