PORTLAND, Ore. — For the past two years, families living near the corner of Northeast 125th Place and Shaver Street have had to share their lawns with a homeless encampment.
Residents told KGW that homeless individuals in their quiet neighborhood, nestled between three schools and rows of cornfields, have refused services from the city.
“They just spread their crap out. It’s a different bunch of junk every year, every day,” neighbor James Eveland said of the camp.
He said the camp moved in nearly two years ago and never left.
“It’s frustrating,” added Lisa Dashiell. “I would like a better life for them. I recognize it's their choice but also as a housed citizen in the neighborhood, I also have concerns for my neighbors.”
Reporting the camp to the city has been a weekly chore for Dashiell.
“Oh my word, I would average one to two times a week for two years,” she said.
The neighbors said the camp brought violence, drugs and rodents into the neighborhood.
“The vehicles are increasing. It started with one storage vehicle that was a pickup. Then there was another car that was moved in that was packed full of storage. Then there was a car that comes and goes. Now there’s a utility trailer,” said Dashiell.
“They cover up the sidewalk and people can’t walk by,” added Eveland.
KGW tried talking with those who live at the camp, but no one was there Thursday morning. Neighbors said the city has come out to offer them resources, but they turned them down.
Last week, the city received 3,389 new reports of campsites similar to the one in this neighborhood. They documented 372 sites, cleaned up garbage from one and removed 54. During that process, they spoke to 708 homeless people and offered shelter to 30. Twenty-five of them accepted.
“There needs to be a step further than that,” said Dashiell. “As far as if you’re choosing not to move, then these are your other choices — and it’s not here on the street.”
“We worked all our lives for what little I’ve got. I’ve busted my fanny for more than 50 feakin’ years, I don’t take a dole from anybody. These people are just mooching off it,” said Eveland.