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Belmont Goats moved out as Portland prepares to build Safe Rest Village along Peninsula Crossing Trail

The city is clearing homeless camps and relocating the Belmont Goats, a first step in the city's plan to build the Peninsula Crossing Safe Rest Village.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A herd of goats were coaxed into a new pen in North Portland Sunday morning. It's part of the latest phase of building Portland’s Safe Rest Village along the Peninsula Crossing Trail. It's an area known for dangerous homeless camps and the Belmont goats.

The Belmont goats moved about 100 feet away into a fenced area that used to be an overrun homeless encampment. The goats were not the only community that had to move out.

"They just came in cleared us out from over here kind of on a short notice apparently, we won't be able to stay here either," said Terrance Freeman, one of the many homeless people who have camped along the Peninsula Crossing Trail for years. A spokesperson for the Safe Rest Villages told KGW more camps will have to be cleared to make room for the Village.

"We have lots of stuff that we have to carry over," Freeman said.

KGW asked Freeman if anyone had offered him resources or a spot in the Safe Rest Village. "No, they haven't," he responded.

"People that were living in the encampment next to us were not offered an opportunity to apply for the space that's going to be here, and I have actively spoken about why I feel that was unkind and uncaring," said Robin Casey, who works with the Belmont Goats.

RELATED: Portland’s first Safe Rest Village opens next week, and some neighbors are concerned

The homeless camps in question have been a hotspot for police for several years now. A couple of weeks ago, a KGW crew was at the camp and witnessed a shooting. Now, piles of tents, tarps and trash are left over from a recent camp removal to make room for the Safe Rest Village.

“This is going to be a welcome sight for us,” said long-time neighbor Allen Corah as he sipped a glass of champagne from his backyard.

"We're toasting to the goats," he said as he watched his new neighbors - the goats - replace what was once a crowded encampment outside his home.

"We've been putting up with the three years of the homeless people living right in our backyard and the city wasn't doing anything about it," Corah said. "Gunshots almost nightly out here. We used to report them but gave up on that because the police wouldn't respond."

RELATED: Southwest Portland Safe Rest Village could be in jeopardy; feds say homeless camp violates deed restrictions

The city will soon begin building the Peninsula Crossing Safe Rest Village. Corah said he's opposed to it.

“I'm not in favor of the Safe Rest Villages," Corah said. "It's a good thing if somebody wants to go there but you're not going to get these people to move into it."

Casey said she hopes the village will help those in need.

"I want to hope that it will make a difference in the lives of the people that live there," Casey said.

The Safe Rest Village spokesperson told KGW that outreach teams have been meeting with the homeless people camped along the Peninsula Crossing Trail for months. Some of the homeless people have been camping there for years and have connections with the area and said they would love to have a spot in the Village. The spokesperson said they understand that but can't guarantee them a spot.


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