After getting numerous complaints, Multnomah County deputies cleared out a homeless camp on the Sandy River Friday, though getting rid of the campers was only the beginning.
Last Friday, deputies found 17 homeless camps in the trees near the river, and they told those campers they had one week to clear out.
The deputies came back Friday, and while some were still there and some had left, all of them left a huge mess behind.
Deputies and inmate work crews then spent the day cleaning up campsites in the Thousand Acres park area on the river. After connecting campers with housing resources, they tore down tents, structures and hauled away piles and piles of garbage, suitcases and furniture, filling up a 40-yard dumpster.
Deputies say hikers and drivers started complaining about the campers in December, but because the winter was so brutal, the sheriff’s office decided not to remove them until now.
Officials say they don’t worry much about low-impact campers who set up a tent for a few nights and keep the area clean, but these sites have gotten so out of control, they had to do something.
“There are some hoarding issues. They go to dumpsters at night and they just grab what they can, and a lot of this stuff is kind of useless and they’ll admit that," Sgt. Steve Bevens with the sheriff’s office said. “We have one camp in here that has about 200 bicycle wheels, about 40 bicycle frames. There’s just no rhyme or reason why.”
The campers cleared out Friday were warned that if they come back and set up camp here again, they will be cited.
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