City Council Notes: Oct 13th

Hello, my name is Sue Sierralupe. I am a proud member of George Brown’s ward. I am also the Clinic Manager of Occupy Medical, the free healthcare clinic that operates in the Park Blocks every Sunday from 12-4pm. I have mentioned in prior public comment periods here at city council, that our busy season is just starting up again.
This Sunday, we saw 53 patients. 28 were seen by our prescribers, 30 went through treatment, 14 were served in wound care. Support service aided 4 patients. We made referrals to our allies including Lion’s Club, White Bird and prescription support services. We fed and provided hygiene supplies for well over 100 visitors. It’s a busy 4 hours.
This Sunday was a bit more challenging to us not necessarily because of the increased numbers but because a segment of the population that we serve was agitated.
Come September, as the UO students return to campus, the police begin evicting the unhoused from their camps tucked away along the riverbanks. This makes them more visible than usual which is oddly ironic. It is no secret that our city is suffering from a serious lack of shelter for homeless citizens. Evicting them does not make them disappear. This is when we, at Occupy Medical, start seeing patients with signs of abuse. It is one of our seasonal upsurges.
This Sunday, as we were setting up our clinic, a member of our peacekeeping team came to get assistance to settle a problem at Kesey Square. An owner of a food cart there, had driven into the square, parked his car on the bricks and began yelling at the unhoused sitting by the Kesey statue. He threatened them and encouraged his dog to lunge at them. When my peacekeeper, who was on her way to her shift, interceded, he turned his abuse on her which included racist epitaphs. 
To our patients, this behavior, from this unstable citizen, was both outrageous and fairly commonplace. They frequently run into abusive people who are experts at finding victims that they perceive as voiceless. The news is filled with people like this attacking children, animals, the elderly and the disabled. The unhoused are attacked frequently. They don’t often report this abuse because they feel they have no voice and they endeavor it because they have no where else to go. Last Sunday, our people had Occupy Medical to serve as a safe haven. What happens the rest of the week?
What can you do? I will not presume to speak for our people but I am asking for their protection just as our city protects its other citizens. Please let our people have a place to rest this winter. Lift the camping ban. It’s the least you can do.

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