Exclusion zone raises concern
Meeting minutes from the Downtown Roseburg Association’s design committee revealed the organization’s desire to create a “Transient Free Zone” for the downtown area. “Transient,” in this case, is being used as a slur for “homeless,” as if our neighbors without housing are not genuine members of our community but rather just fell off a boxcar and are only passing through.
The DRA’s mission is to promote a healthy and vibrant downtown, but they seem to have very narrowly interpreted that mission. They now only recognize potential customers as legitimate users of that particular public space.
The effort to bring visitors to downtown should not include setting up exclusion zones and kicking people out. In fact, it’s quite possible that if such a discriminatory policy goes into effect, those who don’t find themselves legally excluded from downtown will simply choose to walk away from a place so openly hostile to their friends and neighbors.