Some Montavilla residents unhappy with proposal to stop homeless - KPTV - FOX 12

Some Montavilla residents unhappy with proposal to stop homeless sweeps

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association recently proposed a resolution to stop homeless sweeps in their area.

The Board of Directors say the sweeps are inhumane and a waste of money, but the decision is not sitting well with some people that live in the Montavilla neighborhood who say the proposal will only make things worse.

Frank Ray has called the Montavilla neighborhood home for more than two decades.

"My wife works at Central Bible Church. We've raised our kids here, they're now young adults," said Ray.

But for the first time in 23 years, Ray and his neighbors feel excluded.

"The Montavilla Neighborhood Association took the position, asking the city to stop the sweep of homeless camps," Ray said.

The decision was made on June 20. It came as a big surprise to Andrew Pratt.

"The last six months to a year, we've seen the homeless population really grow and get more active," said Pratt.

Trash and homeless camps can be seen piling up at Montavilla City Park, but the neighborhood association says the homeless sweeps are "an ineffective waste of taxpayer dollars that may violate human rights."

FOX 12 reached out to Mayor Ted Wheeler's Office who disagrees. They say the sweeps have made a big difference, reporting a dramatic decrease in emergency calls from 60 a week to 10.

FOX 12 also reached out to every board member, and on Wednesday, the board's chair referred FOX 12 to their online statement where they say they represent "all members of our neighborhood regardless of their housing status including the homeless."

Ray says it should never be about pushing someone out but instead getting them the help they need and deserve.

"We have compassion for homeless people but it needs to be expressed by the city to make it be a safe, sanitary place for these people to live," said Ray.

The Mayor's Office says despite the proposal, their duty is to serve the neighborhood as a whole. So if they are getting calls about sanitation and invading space, they must respond.

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