Wal-Mart, Other Big Box Stores Refuse to Allow Overnight Parking

Big box stores are a testament to the wealth of America, where you can seemingly get anything you want. Not quite. If you simply need a place to park at night when the vast parking lots are entirely empty, you will find that there is a dark side to all this prosperity.

Every night, growing numbers of homeless people in Salem search for safe places to stay overnight. For many years Wal-Mart allowed motor homes to park overnight in the store’s parking lots. Those rules have changed, and now it is completely illegal to remain in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Other big box stores, including Salem’s Home Depot, also have rules against overnight parking. However, a representative of that store told us about a loophole. They don’t enforce the rule in the evening, and in the early morning they ask people to leave, rather than calling the police, saying, “If they don’t leave, then we eventually will call the police, but we try to avoid it.”
Because of gentrification, many are priced out of their homes, but they may still want to remain in the city they are from. This problem is much worse than it was 30 or 40 years ago.
A series of rulings passed September 4th, 2018 in the 9th Circuit Court have legalized camping outdoors, and that includes sleeping in cars. The story began in Venice, Ca. A 2006 ruling determined that the individuals had a legal right to sleep in their cars on a public street. The matter was revisited in 2018 and the judges affirmed a homeless person’s right to sleep outdoors. “The panel held that the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause of the Eighth Amendment precluded the enforcement of a statute prohibiting sleeping outside against homeless individuals with no access to alternative shelter. The panel held that, as long as there is no option of sleeping indoors, the government cannot criminalize indigent, homeless people for sleeping outdoors, on public property, on the false premise they had a choice in the matter.”

We are not mere consumers in the miles of aisles. Explore and improve the practices of the big box stores your prosper from. Search for any store to begin.


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