Neighbors really feel threatened by close by SE Portland homeless camp

Residents have been reporting a camp on SE forty ninth and Haig to town for months, even testifying at metropolis corridor, but nothing has been executed.

PORTLAND, Ore. — It’s laborious to overlook the strains of RVs, trailers and tents alongside components of Southeast Powell Boulevard. A number of the residential neighborhoods close by have develop into magnets for some of these homeless camps, and the longtime Portlanders and households who stay right here more and more view them as a menace to security.

“It’s simply actually unhappy having been right here a very long time and simply seeing the development, the downhill escalation of our metropolis,” stated Anthony Fox, who lives close to a camp on SE forty ninth Avenue and SE Haig Avenue. “I stay right here with my daughter, and she or he is scared to even stroll down the road … a couple of months in the past, my daughter was out right here assembly a buddy within the driveway, and anyone was attempting to steal fuel out of our automobile after which offered a gun.”

When a KGW crew was out capturing video of the camp, a homeless girl threatened to beat them up.

Neighbors imagine somebody from the camp was accountable for the massive Thanksgiving hearth at a close-by U-Haul lot that fireplace investigators confirmed was brought on by somebody siphoning fuel, a criminal offense these at this camp are recognized for.

“It was an enormous, huge hearth and yeah it was terrifying,” stated Fox. “Had the hearth individuals not come sooner our home would have completely caught on hearth.”

“Our streets aren’t secure. Our livability in Portland is admittedly struggling,” added Angela Todd who lives close by. Todd runs PDX Actual, a social media account centered on livability points in Portland, the place she highlights homelessness and crime. She additionally excoriates members of metropolis authorities that she feels are accountable.

Camps just like the one on SE forty ninth and Haig have been reported to town quite a few occasions, with no response.

“What do you do when there’s been almost 100 experiences and it nonetheless persists,” stated Todd.

In her current testimony at metropolis corridor, mayor Ted Wheeler promised her he would look into this camp.

“Angela, thanks for being right here at present and I’ve made a notation of fiftieth and Powell and I’ll discover out what the standing of fiftieth and Powell is,” stated Wheeler in response to her testimony.

It’s been two weeks since that assembly, and the camp remains to be there. In response to a request for remark, town’s Avenue Providers Coordination Middle despatched the next to KGW in an e mail: 

“The Avenue Providers Coordination Middle has been actively monitoring the encampment positioned on SE Haig Avenue, close to fiftieth and SE Powell. The Homelessness and City Tenting Influence Discount Program has carried out a complete of 4 (4) threat assessments at this web site since October 29, 2022. The Portland Police Bureau has additionally been actively monitoring this space. The SSCC is at the moment scheduled to submit camps this week, for removing subsequent week – which is the soonest we had been capable of carry out this work, given a number of different essential, excessive precedence initiatives all through city.

“The SSCC has been actively working on this space for the previous few months. As you might recall, we devoted vital sources to this space previous to the college yr beginning. We eliminated camps and cleaned this space a number of occasions throughout August and early September, after which devoted a big majority of our workers to cleansing and eradicating camps alongside SE Powell through the first two weeks of November. Sadly, we discover that many individuals transfer again to websites instantly after they’re cleaned – and we’re merely unable to keep up that stage of service in a single space when there are lots of of encampments all through Portland that additionally want consideration. Because of this Mayor Wheeler proposed Metropolis-sanctioned campsites, so that folks have someplace to camp the place they can even obtain essential providers, reminiscent of entry to hygiene and meals. Now that Metropolis Council has permitted this plan, we’re hopeful that we’ll see constructive, lasting change sooner or later.

“Till these services are open, nevertheless, I can guarantee you that we’re working as rapidly as we are able to to handle the impression of homelessness all through Portland’s metropolis limits with the sources we’ve out there. We obtain a median of three,400 complaints about campsites every week, and we carry out a number of hundred assessments every week as nicely.”

Nonetheless, some Portlanders do not see this as sufficient motion, leaving many with just one possibility. 

“We’re contemplating shifting this summer time, in truth,” Fox stated.

“The trauma right here is actual, and what’s right here will not be homelessness — what’s right here is organized crime, and its being allowed beneath the umbrella of homelessness and compassion,” added Todd.

From Nov. 14-20, town obtained almost 3,000 new campsite experiences. 906 of them regarded campsites alongside Southeast Powell boulevard, together with 294 involving individuals residing in automobiles just like the SE forty ninth and Haig camp.


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