Portland police sweep homeless camp at Laurelhurst Park - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland police sweep homeless camp at Laurelhurst Park

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Another group of homeless people has been scattered across Portland after police swept a camp at Laurelhurst Park.

Officers contacted campers in tents and vehicles parked along Southeast Oak and Caesar Chavez Boulevard Tuesday morning. They posted a warning last Thursday, but for Jack Cole – who’s been living in his truck for two years and only getting occasional mechanic work – five days’ notice, doesn’t help much.

“So even normal, regular people can’t work and pay rent on $10 an hour these days,” said Cole.

Neighbors of the park are empathetic, but many have lost patience including Tom Schwenzer. He says theft and other crimes have increased with the evolution of the camps, changing the dynamic of the neighborhood.

“There are a couple of these guys around here I’ve had any number of confrontations with, at least verbal, in front of my own property,” said Schwenzer. “This has just been a gem in the city and I think people are afraid to be over here right now.”

City commissioners have approved a plan to build a temporary shelter at Terminal 1 in the fall. But with this sweep and another planned for the Springwater Trail next week, campers say they’re just shuffling around in circles.

No arrests were made during the sweep at Laurelhurst Park.

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