Grassroots group organizes weekly trash collection for homeless - KPTV - FOX 12

Grassroots group organizes weekly trash collection for homeless in Parkrose

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Grassroots group that organized weekly homeless trash collection. (KPTV) Grassroots group that organized weekly homeless trash collection. (KPTV)
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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Homeless people in the Parkrose neighborhood are getting a service many of people take for granted: weekly garbage pickup.

Danny Ferrin said he and other homeless people don’t want to live with the “garbage that you see all the time on the news,” but they can get in legal trouble for putting trash in someone’s garbage bin or dumpster.

He’s never heard of a trash day for the homeless.

“It’s an amazing and wonderful thing,” said Danny Ferrin. “It makes you feel better about the place where you live. You can take more pride in it.”

The service was organized by a grassroots group that includes members of the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Partnership, the Parkrose Business Association, a Portland Police officer and a pastor at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church.

Mingus Mapps, the district manager for the Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Partnership Initiative, said it started with a conversation with Officer Jason Jones.

The nonprofit, which promotes economic development in the northeast Portland neighborhood, shares an office space with a Portland Police Bureau community policing station.

“We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the neighborhood and things we wish we could fix,” said Mapps.

Their group asked members of the homeless community to attend a listening session last month and talk about issues they face.

At the end of the session, Joshua Kingsley, pastor at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, asked for a tangible action way they could help.

“Dan [Ferrin] and others said, ‘you know, we need garbage service,” Jones recalled. “So Josh said, ‘let’s make that happen. How do we make that happen?’”

Parkrose Business Association leaders collected donations of garbage bags.

Jones distributed them and arranged for county jail inmates to pick up the garbage on Thursdays.

The trash collection will be weekly, Jones said.

Ferrin feels like he was heard, rather than paid lip service.

“These people, they listened to what we had to say when we showed up to that meeting and did something about it,” he said.

Members of the group feel empowered.

“Businesses and residents, they don’t know how to help,” said Angie Jenkins, the president of the Parkrose Business Association. “So now we have an avenue for them to say, we need something.”

The group is just getting started.

They’re planning a June event to put homeless people in touch with social services.

They’re also planning listening sessions for people who live and work in the neighborhood.

“We will listen to anybody,” Kingsley said. “We will work on anything that will provide economic development, affordable housing and livability east of 205.”

The group is seeking donations of heavy duty garbage bags to distribute to the homeless community.

You can drop them off at Historic Parkrose at 112036 NE Sandy Boulevard.

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