Salem is banning local volunteers from feeding the homeless under the Marion Street bridge, halting the longstanding tradition in the latest effort to reduce the visibility of the downtown homeless population. City Manager Steve Powers told the Statesman Journal he has asked Salem’s public works director to stop issuing permits for distributing food “until an evaluation of impacts on city property is completed.” “The evaluation will include input from those who have been issued permits in the past,” Powers said. NEED MORE SNOW: Oregon’s snowpack is once again below normal The move comes as city officials prepare to clear a homeless encampment under the bridge, where an estimated 15 to 30 people sleep at night. Officials posted a warning earlier this week for the sweep, which is supposed to happen in coordination with social service providers. It’s scheduled for next Tuesday. “The cleanup will be done in coordination with social service agencies to provide access to services and shelter so people have appropriate alternatives to camping under the bridges,” Powers said. OUR HOMELESS CRISIS: A series of in-depth Statesman Journal reports on homelessness in Marion and Polk counties. OUR HOMELESS CRISIS is an occasional series by the Statesman Journal on homelessness in Marion and Polk counties. ► See the entire series at StatesmanJournal.com/homeless. Salem has been… Read full this story
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