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The city of Portland, Oregon, has set aside $30,000 to pay for bus fares for homeless individuals to leave town.

The program, called Homeward Bound, is similar to programs offered in other cities.

It is intended to help solve the homelessness problem in the city, which is so serious a state of emergency was declared last fall.

The city will only provide a ticket to people if staff can verify that family or friends will be waiting at the other end of the bus ride to provide shelter and support.

Participants will have to prove they've locked down a secure place to live. They'll also need to be medically fit for bus travel, although air fare might be possible in limited cases.

Officials have cautioned that it's more than a means of sending people to some other city, sometimes called "homeless dumping."

City Housing Bureau Director Kurt Creager told The Oregonian that participants will be assigned case managers who will verify any job or housing offers.

"We don't want to export the problem to another community," Creager said. "We're trying to end homelessness. We're not trying to move homelessness."

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