New homeless camp for women sets up in Portland's Lents neighbor - KPTV - FOX 12

New homeless camp for women sets up in Portland's Lents neighborhood

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Organizers of a new homeless camp in Portland’s Lents neighborhood say it will serve victims of sexual abuse on the streets. (KPTV) Organizers of a new homeless camp in Portland’s Lents neighborhood say it will serve victims of sexual abuse on the streets. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A small "women-only" homeless encampment is taking shape just west of the I-205 bridge in the Lents neighborhood.

Six tents on raised wooden platforms, adorned with potted plants, were set up in an empty lot at Southeast 93rd Avenue and Foster Road on Sunday, next to a row of homes.

Organizers of the new camp said it will serve victims of sexual abuse on the streets, which has become increasingly prevalent in recent months.

"It's become really frequent, to the point of daily, with some women now telling me that they're being raped twice a day," said Raine Ritalto, who works with Advocacy 5, a homeless outreach group.  

Ritalto said her organization had been working with the City of Portland to find a location for the camp, but had not come to an agreement, with the plot at SE 93rd and Foster floated by city staff as a possibility, but then taken off the table.

"We decided to go ahead and set up so women at least today and however many days forward can have some peace," said Ritalto. "If it gets to be a sanctioned camp, fantastic, and if not, maybe they'll lead us to a spot nearby that can be."

A spokesperson with the Mayor’s office was unable to comment on the new camp on Sunday.

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