Homeless campers in North Portland say town has failed them

About 50 folks reside in a homeless encampment alongside the Peninsula Crossing Path in North Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Tents, rubbish and previous meals line components of the Peninsula Crossing Path in North Portland. The once-popular bike path has changed into a freeway for homeless campers.

“So that is our neighborhood space proper right here,” mentioned TT Sanchez, who lives in one of many campsites. “They name me the camp mother.”

Sanchez identified a tent that campers alongside the path use for group meals that she calls “banquets.” She mentioned her campsite is extra of a house for her than anywhere else proper now. 

“It’s extra like a neighborhood. It is household. We’ve been right here so lengthy that we should always have some sort of residency.” 

Whereas the camp has been there for years, Sanchez hasn’t. Final 12 months, she and her husband obtained an condo via a city-run program, however they didn’t make sufficient cash to maintain up with the hire. 4 months in the past, they discovered themselves proper again in these tents alongside the Peninsula Crossing Path. 

“We don’t need to be right here,” she admitted. “This isn’t what we would like out of our life.”

RELATED: Cycle of Portland homeless camp cleanups leaves campers demoralized, neighbors annoyed

However different campers, resembling Jeffrey Moore, choose this life-style. “I’m sort of a free spirit. I sort of selected it,” he mentioned.

Town simply cleared some camps alongside the Peninsula Crossing Path, however lots of these dwelling there simply moved their camps a number of blocks away. 

“You possibly can’t pull up on a avenue and resolve, ‘I’m going to reside right here.’ It’s simply not honest to the neighborhood,” mentioned Judy Kane, who lives on the nook of North Princeton and Stanford. An RV now sits exterior her kitchen window.

“It’s madness. I simply need our metropolis to return to the fundamentals: parking, ordinances, codes,” she mentioned.

“The neighborhood is at its wit’s finish,” added Tom Karwaki, who chairs the neighborhood affiliation. He hopes the Protected Relaxation Village town deliberate alongside the Peninsula Crossing Path helps to scrub up their neighborhood and provides these dwelling on their streets a spot to go. 

KGW reached out to Commissioner Dan Ryan’s workplace for remark however didn’t hear again instantly.

RELATED: Metropolis removes sure homeless camps alongside NE thirty third & Marine Drive

“Town can do higher, the county can do higher, we as a neighborhood and as a state can do higher,” mentioned Karwaki. “Nobody feels protected. Usually, from the housed neighborhood and the unhoused neighborhood, many don’t really feel protected.”

However Sanchez hopes that individuals who reside within the space are in a position to see them as folks relatively than a risk. 

“We’re not monsters in any respect,” Sanchez mentioned. “God made us all the identical and made us all equal, so I don’t see what’s totally different or why folks look like they’re petrified of us.”


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