PORTLAND, Ore. Now that the parks that housed Occupy Portland campers have been vacated, the group of campers have dispersed to various locations. Some of the homeless occupiers who have not been able to find shelter are back where they started: under bridges or freeway overpasses.
Kim Winton and Milton Mcmanus are engaged, and once again living under the Hawthorne Bridge.
One of the big challenges is the weather, being by the river, the cold, said McManus, who says the couple has been homeless for three years.
Winton and McManus said there are fewer options for couples like them who have no children, and they don t want to split up to get shelter.
They say they felt safer in the encampment, thanks to the security provided by Portland Police.
We saw them every day - they were nice to us and polite, said Winton.
The couple is working with one of the homeless aid agencies that sent outreach workers into the parks before police cleared it out.
It s a matter for our stuff right now, but they are also trying to get us into a place... I m just hoping they can help get us into a motel or something at least until the first of the month, said Winton.
The homeless couple said they were proud to be part of something they felt was important at Occupy Portland.
I felt like I was a part of something; this was my first major movement that I was a part of, and it felt good. Said McManus.
About 300 additional winter shelter beds are opening up this week. Despite Portland s large network of homeless services, there are an estimated 1700 people living on the streets every night, some by choice. Anyone wanting to seek shelter should call 211 for assistance.