Homeless campers flood Lents neighborhood after ODOT land cleared

Homeless camp floods neighborhood in Lents

PORTLAND, Ore. -- This week, dozens of homeless campers flooded a Southeast Portland neighborhood, according to residents.

They say it happened the day after officials cleared campers out of a far more public space. Now, these neighbors in Lents feel dumped on and some have had enough.

“They steal stuff off of our porch, out of our yard,” said one neighbor.

Resides say it happened Thursday. A small homeless camp, already fluctuating in size, simply blew up. Dozens came with tents and tarps. Neighbors, who were afraid to show their faces on camera, called police and took photos to the city.

They say some of the campers threatened them.

“It doesn’t feel safe. You should feel safe to come out and be in your own front yard,” one neighbor said.

“Then they put the rocks on the actual side of the sidewalk,” another neighbor said.

The rocks that neighbor is referring to are ones the Oregon Department of Transportation placed under the Interstate 205 overpass at Southeast Woodstock to keep homeless campers out. The next day, dozens of homeless campers showed up, according to neighbors.

ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton said they pointed people living under the I-205 overpass to social services but admitted it's possible many went elsewhere.

A few blocks away, neighbors see it like this: a higher profile, more public spot is cleared and now their homes are under siege.

They say the same thing happened when the city cleared campers from the Springwater Corridor. Par for the course, in Lents, they say. And it’s gotten so bad, they say at least one of their neighbors has decided to move.

“If this was not 97266, you would not have those people in those places for so long,” one neighbor said.

They’ve already filed several complaints with the city but have not heard anything back.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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