City crews clear homeless camps under Steel Bridge - KPTV - FOX 12

City crews clear homeless camps under Steel Bridge

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City crews and police officers worked to clear a homeless camp under Portland’s steel Bridge Thursday. (KPTV) City crews and police officers worked to clear a homeless camp under Portland’s steel Bridge Thursday. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A large homeless camp in northeast Portland is being cleaned up due to an increase in crime.

Crews spent part of Thursday sweeping the camp under the Steel Bridge along the Waterfront.

Police were there placing yellow tape around the area, which caused some conflict with the people living there.

Some of the homeless residents said they weren't allowed to go and pick up their possessions.

Camper Richard Farken said he understands why the city is doing this, but thinks that more needs to be done to help out.

“I understand it, why they're doing it. They can't have camps all over the city and sidewalks,” he said. “I understand that, but it doesn't seem to me that they're really made much of an effort, based on the amount of people without places to go, to help out, house them or do anything.”

Mayor Charlie Hales released a statement, saying the city is done playing "whack-a-mole, pushing homeless people from one part of the city to another.”

The statement also noted that the workers had visited the site before hand to try and connect the people there with services, and that there were a dozen beds secured in a shelter for people from the camp.

Hales said the city is dispersing the large, dangerous camps and creating resources for those who are just looking for a safe place to sleep. He also said he hoped people would accept the new approach.

“We've asked for Portlanders' patience, and now we hope they'll understand and support our new, pragmatic and humane approach."

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