SE Portland neighbors say clearing homeless camp is taking too l - KPTV - FOX 12

SE Portland neighbors say clearing homeless camp is taking too long

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Homeless camp in the area of SE 92nd and Flavel. (KPTV) Homeless camp in the area of SE 92nd and Flavel. (KPTV)

A sprawling homeless camp in the area of Southeast 92nd and Flavel has been the source of numerous complaints from neighbors. FOX 12 learned last week that city workers are in the process of shutting it down.

However, on Friday, several tents and structures were still up on the sidewalks and even part of the dead-end street, and garbage is strewn across the ground.

Celeste Bates-Campana has to walk by the camp every day to get on MAX. She says she’s been threatened and now carries a Taser.

“We walk by and they harass people,” she said. “A dog chased someone from my complex who was trying to catch the MAX. I mean, it’s really bad.”

According to the city’s new Safe Sleep policy, neighbors can call or email a system dedicated to complaints about homeless camps. Then, the camps are put on a list and addressed starting with outreach and warnings – a process that Mayor Charlie Hales’ spokeswoman says may take a few weeks depending on campers’ needs. But some worry the process is taking too long.

Kevin Waldron has lost his patience. He says he was chased by a camper wielding a 2 x 4 last December when he tried to take a picture to send to the mayor.

“When the mayor’s office addresses this in mid-May or it could be June and this is still continuing,” Waldron said. “If you’ve seen any pictures of this, it’s a complete mess.”

Tamara Heffler is staying at the camp and she gets fed up with the trash too – calling the littering disrespectful. She says she makes an effort to keep her space clean, but she wants neighbors to know that she’s doing everything she can to get out.

“All the shelters right now – I’ve looked into other means – are full. All the programs are full and you’ve got to get on a waiting list.”

Neighbors do have compassion for people living on the streets, but Celeste Bates-Campana says it doesn’t have to turn into such a mess.

“I feel bad for them and everything, but this is getting out of hand.”

A spokeswoman for Mayor Hales says workers will be checking on the camp again on Monday and will decided if they need to post mandatory vacation signs. One week after the signs are posted, the campers have one week to leave the area.

To alert city officials to a problematic homeless camp, go to

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