SW Portland neighborhood fights back against increase in crime a - KPTV - FOX 12

SW Portland neighborhood fights back against increase in crime associated with homeless camp

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

As the metro area tries to figure out how to handle a growing homeless crisis, and the crime and drugs that comes with some of the homeless camps, one southwest Portland neighborhood is taking steps of it’s own to put an end to it. 

People living in the South Burlingame neighborhood say over the summer they’ve seen an increase in crime.

“We did have an uptick in car thefts, then it became home thefts, then it became stealing packages off a front porch,” Brian Stevenson said.

Other neighbors tracked some of the crime to a nearby homeless camp under the Terwilliger ramps near I-5. Inside the camp they found stolen packages with nearby address, prescriptions, garbage, and drug needles.

Frustrated with what was found the neighborhood decided to do something about it. 

They organized a clean up of 100 yards of fence line to open and exposed the area where people were camped.

“(We) just opened those up so the police, the neighborhood could see down into the area and make it less welcoming to the folks that want to sleep there,” Stevenson said.

The group also painted over graffiti and picked up the garbage. Nearby businesses helped as well providing garbage service and other things. 

The campers eventually moved on and neighbors say they’ve seen a decrease in the number of crimes reported on neighborhood message boards.

“It was just the neighborhood coming together and saying 'hey, we want to solve this challenging issue that we found ourselves apart of' and in two days we were able to knock it out,” Stevenson said.

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