Neighbors say homeless people at N. Portland church causing prob - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbors say homeless people at N. Portland church causing problems

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Side of the church that caught fire on Tuesday (KPTV) Side of the church that caught fire on Tuesday (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As Portland continues to deal with a crisis surrounding homelessness, some neighbors in north Portland say a church in their neighborhood is trying to help but is causing problems in the process.

Neighbors say the Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, just off North Lombard, has been a haven for homeless people for a long time. That in itself is not a problem, but neighbors say they're now dealing with sanitation and safety issues that put the neighborhood at risk,

For example, neighbors said a man has been living in the bushes behind the church and without a bathroom to use, he regularly defecates in full view of neighbors and kids, and no effort is being taken to clean it up.

"Full view. Full view, plain sight. You see everything. He just pulls his pants down and goes," said Kwon Tang.

Last Tuesday, neighbors said something in the man's backpack caught fire and the flames spread to the side of the church before it was put out.

Neighbors have complained to the church and the City of Portland but said nothing has been done.

"When we complain, we're told to call the police and that's not enough. There are things the church can do to discourage people from living in the doorway back here," said Susan Landauer.

Fox 12 reached out to the pastor of the church but have not heard back.

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