Portland neighbors beg for help as homeless camp takes root

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Five years ago, the City of Portland cleaned up 3122 homeless camps. The next year that number dropped to 2828, then to 2169. Last year, only 248 homeless camps were cleaned up in Portland.

The dramatic drop in camps cleaned up is largely because policies during the pandemic left them alone. At the same time, the city budget to conduct cleanups has more than quadrupled. City officials said that’s because “the need to more holistically address unsanctioned urban camping has grown.”

That means trying to get people into homeless services instead of just kicking them out. This slow process is part of the reason people in Portland neighborhoods feel abandoned.

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