City preps for influx of homeless following Occupy park closure - KPTV - FOX 12

City preps for influx of homeless following Occupy park closure

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

When the city shuts down the Occupy Portland encampment Sunday morning, officials will have to deal with an influx of homeless people.

Mayor Sam Adams acknowledged the encampments at Chapman and Lownsdale squares became an attraction for transients. He says everyone currently staying in the encampment will need to leave by 12:01 a.m. Sunday or they could be arrested.

City Commissioner Nick Fish says the city has 650 beds ready.

Fish admits there are likely not enough places for each person to stay, but the city wants to have people staying at Occupy Portland call 211. That number provides resource information on where homeless people can get help.

On Thursday, FOX 12 met a woman who would only give her first name, Tina. She says that she is homeless and moved into Chapman Square, not because of the Occupy Portland movement but because she needed a place to stay.

Tina says the encampment became a spot for people to get free food and shelter.

The city sent in social workers on Thursday following Adams' deadline.

Fish says those employees are able to communicate with the homeless and will help them get the resources they need.

The commissioner also says the city understands there are some people who are not going to want to leave or seek help. However, the city will be ready to assist those who do.

In addition to calling 211, people can visit the Bud Clark Commons Center, which will give them a place to stay warm as the weather changes.

Anyone who remains downtown in the camps could be subject to arrest.

A spokeswoman for the mayor says property, including tents, left in the squares could potentially be confiscated and held in a city property room. However, she added, the city is hopeful most will leave peacefully.

On any given night, there are around 1,700 people homeless in Portland, Fish says.

Resources:

  • Call 2-1-1 for information Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Visit Bud Clark Commons at 650 NW Irving St.
  • Rose City Resource Guide website

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