Crews clear out homeless camps along Springwater Corridor - KPTV - FOX 12

Crews clear out homeless camps along Springwater Corridor

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Homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor were cleared out Tuesday. (Source: KPTV) Homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor were cleared out Tuesday. (Source: KPTV)
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV

Crews cleared out homeless camps along the Springwater Corridor in southeast Portland on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Mayor Charlie Hales said Tuesday's cleanup effort is part of a months-long process to address homeless issues in the area, including harassment of people using the trail, environmental harm including garbage and human waste and abuse of homeless women.

The section of trail cleaned up and cleared out Tuesday stretched from Southeast 75th Avenue to 83rd Avenue. It was posted for cleanup April 19.

"They were really serious about this, and we were ready. We got up at 5 a.m. and packed," said Diane Kneisley, who had been camping on the trail for two months with her son. 

Kneisley said they have been hoping and looking for something better. She said nobody wants to be in this situation. 

"Just think for a minute, you're standing there with all you own in a couple carts, no one to contact, no one to talk to, you don't know where to go. What would you do?" she said. 

Agencies and contracted cleaning crews said they expected to find dozens of campers remaining in the cleanup area Tuesday, despite outreach efforts and a posted cleanup date. Outreach workers said they offered people connections to housing services and treatment. 

People who live in the area said Tuesday's actions are long overdue. 

"My daughter's been attacked out here, so to see these guys out here cleaning up, it's definitely a refresher. We need more help. The police need more help and support," said Daniel Aragona. 

Others expressed concern that people being pushed out of the area Tuesday will just move down to another spot for a while and come back within six months. Kneisley said she wants people to know she never planned to be homeless, and is hoping for compassion. 

"We pray that we'll be prepared, and sooner than later have permanent housing," she said. 

A city spokesperson said Tuesday's cleanup effort is one of about 40 the city has conducted at homeless camps since Jan. 27.

Last month, a collection of groups, organizations and businesses filed a lawsuit against the city of Portland and Hales over the city's policies to allow homeless camping in the community.

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