NE Portland neighborhood conducts new homeless experiment - KPTV - FOX 12

NE Portland neighborhood conducts new homeless experiment

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

After months of dealing with squatters, the Park Rose neighborhood's community group is trying what they call a new experiment in an effort to clean up the neighborhood.

The Park Rose Alliance, a group dedicated to cleaning up squatters and homeless in the area, is getting help from local police.

Jason Jones, a Portland police officer and member of the Park Rose Alliance, told Fox 12 he is working beyond regular hours to ensure neighbors feel safe.

“I'm after my regular hours, we’re foot patrolling these neighborhoods, this is an experiment,” Jones said.  “I treat everybody with dignity and respect, whoever they are and whatever station in life they’re in, and I found that when I do that and people trust me, they’ll work with me."

Vacant homes, like the one on 115th street have caused a number of problems for people living nearby. Police and the City said they can only do so much because these vacant homes belong to the bank.

So now, Jones goes door-to-door passing out public safety surveys. He said the alliance is in the process of developing a packet that lists all of the zombie houses in the neighborhood and contacts to call if neighbor have issues. 

According to police, squatters have rights, and police can only make arrests if a crime is being committed.

Jones said while he is trying to stay on good terms with the homeless, he will enforce punishment if a crime occurs.

"I have made a number of arrests out of that house and take things like this very seriously - everyone needs to feel safe."

Jones said eventually, these people will move out, but it is better to treat them with respect so they respect neighbors who are paying to live there. 

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