Neighbors are fed up with finding drug paraphernalia and weapons near to a playground set in a northeast Portland park.
On Wednesday night, many neighbors spent time picking up needles off the ground in Montavilla park, but they also started an online petition to get help from city leaders.
“Sometimes you’ll come here, there’ll be 20-30 people camped out in this park,” neighbor Phil Scuderi said.
Scuderi told FOX 12 he used to bring his kids to Montavilla park all the time, but now said he only comes when it’s empty.
People in the Montavilla neighborhood said the park has a drug problem. Volunteers on Wednesday found more than a dozen needles and a knife not far from the park playground.
“I told my daughter, don’t bring the kids here because it’s really disgusting,” Mike, a homeless man said.
Despite their clean-up efforts, FOX 12 found more of the same when we stopped by, trash and even bloody bandages left on a picnic table.
Some neighbors have stopped frequenting the park, altogether.
“I used to. I don’t anymore. The homelessness issue is real bothersome,” neighbor Maggie Caro said.
Even those who’ve made this park their home, agree it needs to be cleaned up.
“I’ve been homeless here for a long time,” Tommy said. “That’s bull*expletive* because they’re homeless. They still should pick up what they do.”
In an online petition, neighbors call out Mayor Ted Wheeler and Portland Parks and Recreation officials demanding a permanent solution instead of a temporary fix.
The petition has already exceeded its signature goal.
FOX 12 reached out to Portland Parks and Recreation to find out if they were aware of the petition and the agency said they are reviewing the site for improvements they can make and are also adding more park rangers to patrol the area, according to an official.
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