‘Village of Hope’ homeless camp cleared out in NE Portland

Image: KPTV

A short-lived homeless camp has been cleared out in northeast Portland.

The tent city sprang up a week or so ago near Northeast 171st Avenue and Airport Way.

The camp, dubbed “Village of Hope” by people living there, was in the Big Four Corners Natural Area with protected wetlands and streams. City leaders said earlier this week the camp was not legal and the campers would need to move or face arrest.

The city provided notice to the campers and offered to connect them with social workers and get them into shelters.

Still, protesters disrupted a City Council meeting Wednesday over the issue and expressed their support for homeless people at the camp Thursday.

Park rangers gave people at the camp an extra day to move out of the area Thursday. On Friday morning, city workers cleared it out. Officers were at the scene to ensure the safety of city employees and community members, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

"Parks and natural areas are not appropriate places for building homes. Parks belong to everyone, and each has designated purposes established through community processes. We have learned from past experience that even well-intentioned, well-run camps draw other campers to the area which the organizers cannot control, causing environmental degradation that squanders previous investments in restoration work," Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz said, in part, in a joint statement.

There was lingering frustrating among the campers.

“That point is, from the very beginning, to have a village which is sustainable and help people get off the street. That goal hasn’t been met,” one camper told FOX 12.

The city of Portland, in partnership with Multnomah County and A Home for Everyone, helped nearly 4,900 people obtain housing, 6,100 people receive prevention services and 8,500 people access emergency shelter in the area, according to a statement from the city.

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