How is this possible in America?
People who use wheelchairs can’t even move up and down Portland’s tent-filled sidewalks.
Ten plaintiffs are now suing the city over the situation, accusing Portland of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The suit was filed in federal court Tuesday.
They’re asking for a federal judge to order the city to clear its sidewalks of homeless tents and other obstructions. The ADA requires municipalities to make sidewalks large enough for access by those who use wheelchairs and walkers.
The disabled plaintiffs argue Portland’s sidewalks are only accessible to people who have the ability to walk around an abundance of tents and obstructions.
Steve Jackson, who is blind, said he often walks into homeless people lying in the city sidewalks, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
10 Portlanders with disabilities file class action lawsuit against city of Portland alleging failure to clear sidewalks of tent campers violates Americans with Disability Act. #fox12oregon pic.twitter.com/qZz3Xk3oHA
— Simon Gutierrez (@sggutierrez) September 7, 2022
Some plaintiffs are also worried for their safety in public amid Portland’s homelessness epidemic.
Speaking at a news conference after filing the ADA lawsuit in federal court, 62-year-old Barbara Jacobson said, “I was born and raised in Portland, and the Portland I see now is not the Portland I want to see,” according to the Post Millennial.
“When I leave my house I wonder: ‘Is today the day I get attacked?”
She complained of having to go into the street to avoid encampments and needing to put her service dog in her wheelchair because the ground is littered with broken glass, syringes, vomit and other biohazards, according to the report.
Jacobson is accusing the city of refusing to enforce basic quality-of-life ordinances that govern public spaces.
“The city has abandoned us and the homeless,” Jacobson said, according to the Post Millennial.
Philip Rhodes, 81, said homeless people have blocked his way, forcing him to turn around and find another route. One even tried to push him into traffic, the PM reported.
Video from downtown Portland reveals a city blighted with third-world conditions, and sidewalks completely overrun with massive homeless encampments.
Portland residents fed up with vagrancy, blight and squatters have even listed their homes for sale.
Homelessness in America is most severe in nominally “progressive” coastal cities with high costs of living.
California was “home” to 28 percent of the total homeless population of the United States in 2020, according to Forbes.
At this rate, future generations of Americans may never understand what it means to walk through a clean, livable, dignified major city.
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