Homeless advocates, residents meet with Mayor Hales over Springw - KPTV - FOX 12

Homeless advocates, residents meet with Mayor Hales over Springwater Trail sweep plans

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Portland mayor Charlie Hales plans to clear out the Springwater Trail homeless camp in one week, but many campers are vowing to resist a sweep and stay put.

Monday both sides came together to see if they can find a solution

Hales met with several homeless advocates to see if they can avoid a clash next week.

The mayor claims these campers have to pack up because of issues with crime and livability, but those homeless campers claim they have nowhere to go.

“We’re going to stand our ground, we’re going to show resistance and that’s just the way I see fit,” camper Craig Hipple said. “Because you can’t move people around like they’re cattle.”

Hipple lives on the Springwater Trail along with nearly 1000 other people and says he tries to police the camp.

He said Monday’s meeting with the mayor did not go very well and feels there has to be a better plan that kicking everyone out.

“I understand their arguments as far as crimes go,” Hipple said. “Well, maybe they should add some policing to the corridor just like they do the neighborhoods.”

Margot Black is an advocate with Portland Tenants United and says so many Portlanders are on the streets because they’ve been priced out of their homes or are victims of no-cause evictions.

“My read is that the people from the mayor’s office heard loud and clear that the August 1st date is simply too soon,” she said.

Sunday PTU went to the Springwater camp to urge people to fight the sweep.

Homeowners and renters living in the area are fed up with activity tied to the camps, though.

Carol Johnson said her family and her property have been targeted by the campers and she wants them out.

However, without a strong plan even she isn’t thrilled about a sweep.

“I don’t see it being a permanent solution to what’s going on because they’ll come through here and clean up, but I see it reappearing,” Johnson said

People who met with the mayor on Monday said he still plans to clear the camp next Monday, and as of right now they don’t see a good outcome.

Hales has not been available to share his take on how the meeting went or if any alternative plans came out of it.

However, Black said she feels that options are now on the table that weren’t there before.

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