Disabled people sue city over homeless tents blocking sidewalks


Overrun with homeless camps, many sidewalks in Portland, Oregon, have become impassible for disabled people, charges a class action lawsuit.

The city, states the complaint filed in federal court, is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination based on disability and requires accessible sidewalks, reports Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The 10 plaintiffs, who use wheelchairs, walkers or canes, explain that the tents on sidewalks prevent people prevent them from passing without difficulty.

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They want a judge to order the to clear the sidewalks and provide shelters for the displace homeless people.

In a press conference held near City Hall, one of the plaintiffs, Steve Jackson, said he is blind and often accidentally steps on people.

Barbara Jacobsen, 62, who uses an electric wheelchair, said she often must go into the street to avoid the encampments.

“The city has abandoned us and the homeless,” she said.

Oregon Public Broadcasting said the chances of the lawsuit’s success is unclear, but similar suits were filed against the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles regarding homeless encampments. The San Francisco suit was settled and the L.A. suit is still being litigated.

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