PORTLAND-- Homeless people recently evicted from their camp in front of Portland's City Hall have returned. This time, they set up camp one block away from city hall, in front of the Multnomah County Justice Center.
On Tuesday morning, sleeping bags, food coolers, barbecue grills and other camping supplies were strewn over the sidewalk at the new camp. Some people were still sleeping on the ground just before noon. Passers by complained to KGW that the campers were not only blocking sidewalks, but that the smell was overwhelming.
Authorities have not said if these campers will be evicted as well, or when that could happen.
A spokesman for the mayor's office said the city was working with attorneys to find out what the legal options were in light of the new camp location.
"There sure needs to be a ‘Plan B through C through D through E,’ absolutely. And we're not sure exactly what that is yet,” said Communication Director Dana Haynes. “Partly because we're going to have to work with our police department and our facilities to figure out what the immediate steps for the adjacent blocks are."
Earlier this month, Mayor Charlie Hales said the homeless camp outside city hall was an unsafe situation and police forced the protesters to leave. That followed several months when both sides of Southwest 4th Avenue were flanked by campers. On some nights, close to 50 people camped out in the area.
Police records showed that officers were called to the city hall camp at least 113 times over a the past six months. Hales said he has had enough of people telling him they don’t feel safe coming to Portland’s City Hall.
Meantime, police in Portland's Central Precinct began their day clearing sidewalks of campers who had returned to the area in front of city hall.
Neighborhood Unit began the day ensuring City Hall sidewalks clear along with neighboring areas. pic.twitter.com/huaRdtDCQD— PPB Central Precinct (@PPBCentralSW) July 30, 2013