City cleans up camps ahead of NCAA games

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 7:07 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - March Madness begins Friday in the Rose City and with several games kicking off the NCAA tournament, crews have been cleaning up various parts of the city.

One crew was spotted at a sizable camp along Weidler near Larabee, cleaning up trash and debris, taking down structures and filling an entire dumpster.

The clean-up was done by Rapid Response, a company that contracts with the city to clear out camps deemed unsafe, hazardous, or blocking public right of ways like sidewalks.

The camp removed Wednesday was just up the street from the Moda Center. Its unclear how many people were living at the camp, but FOX 12 spoke with one camper as he took apart his shelter with a drill.

Gabriel Garcia is one camper who said he’s been living at this camp about three months. Garcia said he was visiting Portland from Central Washington to see his mom and sister. He told FOX 12 now that he can’t stay here anymore, Garcia might go back go home to Wenachee or find somewhere else in Portland to rebuild.

“I was thinking about maybe 82nd area, by the Max Stop area, I was there like 5 years ago, so there’s some spaces over there that are available,” Garcia said.

Last month Mayor Ted Wheeler issued an emergency order to ban camping along high-traffic areas and ordered the city’s cleanup efforts to focus on these areas first.

Nearby Interstate Avenue is among those corridors where camping is now banned but it’s not clear how close to the roadway campers can stay.