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Clean-up sweep begins at Laurelhurst Park homeless encampment

City-contracted crews with Rapid Response Bio Clean posted eviction notices on Friday and started the cleanup process on Monday.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A clean-up sweep of a homeless encampment along Southeast Portland's Laurelhurst Park is taking steps forward.

City-contracted crews with Rapid Response Bio Clean posted eviction notices on Friday, which said crews would return within 10 days to clear the camp on Southeast Oak Street. 

The response team first showed up midday on Monday and again in the afternoon, clearing several tents and bags of trash.

Crews said they needed police present to help facilitate a complete sweep of the encampment.

Cleanup crews said they would likely be back Monday or Tuesday to continue clearing the Laurelhurst camp.

Some residents of the camp said sweeps like this happen every few weeks, as they get pushed from one neighborhood to another.

In July 2021, the city cleared dozens of homeless campers from Laurelhurst Park. Activists, many of whom had been stationed at the encampment for months to prevent the sweep, stood toe-to-toe with police, and some of them chanted and hurled obscenities. At one point, a woman laid down in front of a Rapid Response truck. 

Officials with the city of Portland and Multnomah County estimated 60 people were cleared from the park during that sweep, and roughly half of them went into temporary housing. The rest, officials said, were believed to have gone elsewhere to camp on Portland’s streets.

Click here to read other stories about Portland's ongoing homelessness crisis. 

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