SLEEPS is a grass roots organization whose mission is to provoke changes in attitudes, laws and policies toward those who are unhoused in order to help create a more just, humane and sensibly managed society for all.
SLEEPS is not just talking; we’re acting. It’s about taking action to establish and maintain Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep for those who are currently unhoused. SLEEPS works to decriminalize and provide resources for the other “unavoidable consequences of being human” such as cooking, eating, staying warm and dry and going to the bathroom. SLEEPS is exercising 1st Amendment rights for the purpose of upholding the 4th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution and relevant Articles of the Oregon Constitution.
SLEEPS immediate objectives are to force the city to:
- modify the camping ban and park curfews to allow unhoused people to sleep from 9pm to 7am on public property, in accordance with the 2007 Jones v. LA court ruling
- designate safe, legally entitled emergency places to sleep on public land in self-managed communities with 24/7 access for the winter of 2013-14
- provide these sites with boundaries, toilets, water, on site storage, garbage and recycle disposal
- allow safe fires for warmth and cooking in designated sites
- make dumpsters and bathrooms available 24/7 in both urban and park areas
- allow multiple long-term sites with different lifestyles as needed
- force the city to adhere to Lavan v LA with regard to protecting the property of those who are unhoused
- rewrite vehicle on-street camping laws and prohibit impounding of vehicles used for sleeping
SLEEPS launches “actions” in which unhoused members of who form the Strike Force go to a specific destination at which “camping” is illegal and pitch 12-20 tents. Press Releases are sent to all local media. Posts on the SLEEPS website, email, tweet and celly are used to alert to the several hundred members of the “Circle of Conscience” (members of the faith community, Occupy, Interfaith Occupy, CALC, ACT, Nightingale) who come stand in vigil at the site, bringing food, supplies and moral authority. A SLEEPS police liaison interacts with the police, informing them of the US Constitution; Oregon Constitution; local laws, local police policies and procedures; and high court decisions that support the right of the unhoused to use public land to sleep and other “unavoidable consequences of being human and unhoused”. SLEEPS helps to recruit both the unhoused and housed to speak twice monthly at City Council Public Forums, write and call councilors relentlessly and use the media to shape public opinion.