Protesters gather outside City Hall to rally against planned hom - KPTV - FOX 12

Protesters gather outside City Hall to rally against planned homeless sweep

Posted: Updated:
Protesters gathering outside Portland City Hall Thursday claimed a proposed sweep does not address the underlying issues leading to homelessness in the city. (KPTV) Protesters gathering outside Portland City Hall Thursday claimed a proposed sweep does not address the underlying issues leading to homelessness in the city. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

On Monday, homeless camps along the Springwater Trail were set to be swept, but the Mayor Charlie Hales pushed it back a month.

Still, advocates holding a protest at City Hall Thursday said there's a lot of work left to be done in very little time.

The rally was originally organized in response to the August 1 deadline, and protesters said the delay until September 1 helps, though it doesn't solve the problem.

There are between 300 and 500 people living on the trail between the Sellwood area and Gresham, and with the planned sweep they're being told they have to relocate despite many claiming they have nowhere else to go.

Advocates said they held the rally Thursday to continue to mount pressure on the mayor and city to find a suitable place for relocation.

They also want city leaders to better address the long-term issues that lead to homelessness, like rising rent and a lack of affordable housing and good paying jobs.

“Of the people I've talked to on the corridor… the real common story is people who were just down on their luck as a result of the recession or issues with their job and their industry and were already living paycheck to paycheck and found themselves in a position where they had no other choice," Justin Kertson with Portland Tenants United said.

People who live on the trail came to the Clackamas Service Center Thursday for a sort of one-stop-shop resource fair.

They were able to meet with providers who work in areas like transitional housing, mental health and legal help.

The service center is near the trail and also provides meals, hot showers, clothing and meetings with doctors and dentists.

Debra Mason, the executive director of the Clackamas Service Center, said they're trying to reach as many people who live on the trail before the sweep as possible.

“There's a lot of anxiety because it's not just okay you're going to be swept,” she explained. “It's all the other issues people are dealing with, so mental health, addiction, domestic violence and so forth, so it's a troubling time. It's a real troubling time."

Mason hopes to have more of these resource fairs in the next several weeks.

Neighbors living along the Springwater Corridor maintain that the sweep is long overdue, saying that they've been dealing with escalating issues related to crime as well as health and safety.

Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2018, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.