Neighbors in SE Portland concerned about sprawling homeless camp - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbors in SE Portland concerned about sprawling homeless camp

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The camp near SE 92nd and Flavel. The camp near SE 92nd and Flavel.
The camp near SE 92nd and Flavel. The camp near SE 92nd and Flavel.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

People in a southeast Portland neighborhood say a sprawling homeless camp is taking over their community, interrupting businesses and making people fear for their safety.

“It’s ruining our neighborhood,” said one man who lives nearby, but did not want to be identified.

The camp is just off SE 92nd and Flavel, tucked behind the Money Saver Storage building near the Springwater Trail.

Neighbors say garbage and decomposing food are only part of the problem.

“There’s no facilities out there so you can imagine what they’re doing as far as using the toilet,” said another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous.

But they say their biggest concerns centers around safety.

“The environment’s more aggressive and more hostile each time I go down there,” said the first neighbor.  “I’m scared to walk down there myself, and my elderly neighbors, obviously they would be.”

The owner of a corner store nearby says he’s also had problems. He put up a fence and “No Trespassing” sign, but says customers are harassed or intimidated on a regular basis.

“People are afraid to ride their bikes there or go commuting or walking around on foot and it’s affected the whole neighborhood,” the second neighbor added.

Portland Police say it’s an area they continually work to enforce, and crimes have been associated with homeless camps along the Springwater Trail.

A spokesperson for the Mayor’s office says the city is aware of the site, and is already taking action.

Outreach workers are there now, trying to connect people with services. That process will take a week or two, then a one-week notice will be posted announcing a date when police officers and clean-up contractors will come in to shut the camp down.

Since the city’s new program started in July, more than a dozen sites have already been addressed, including a large camp under the Steel Bridge and one in northwest Portland.

Neighbors say they hope it works.

“I wish the city luck and I wish the people who have to live like that the best of luck,” said the second neighbor. “I hope they’re life changes for the better but it’s just not a tenable situation to have 70 people living on the street right there. It just doesn’t work.”

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