The liberal city of Portland’s grand idea to address the issue of homeless people using the streets as a bathroom is not getting the seal of approval from locals.
With the problem of human waste on the streets and sidewalks similar to that in San Francisco, the Oregon city attempted to deal with the growing problem by employing special crews of street cleaners every day. But a new move which introduced a “hygiene facility” into one neighborhood proved to be a bigger problem than the one it sought to resolve, according to KGW-TV.
A trailer with a portable bathroom and lockers appeared recently in the Goose Hollow neighborhood where residents had already been trying to deal with the homeless problem that Portland apparently wasn’t resolving fast enough. But the location went from having few, if any, homeless campers to being overrun in a matter of days as it became a hub for tents and possessions.
Tiffany Hammer and other residents of the area slammed the move at a Portland City Council meeting Wednesday, venting their frustrations over fires, stolen possessions and violent activities they have had to endure with the homeless population in the area – which grew worse with the addition of the hygiene trailer.
“We’ve been attacked and threatened. I won’t mention the loss of possessions not bolted down or the daily car break-ins. We all know ‘em. More concerned about personal safety,” Hammer told city commissioners.
“A swarm of extra campers have shown up in the last week and we’ve had a lot of personal attacks from that alone,” she said. “We hide our children in our homes to protect them. They are no longer able to walk to school.”
The location of the portable restrooms and lockers is reportedly not permanent, according to Denis Theriault with the Joint Office of Homeless Services who explained that the city of Portland makes the final decision as to the location for the trailer, and the Southwest 14th and Montgomery position was the first to be chosen.
A “Navigation Team” reportedly works with the “high-impact homeless camps” to get resources and services to the homeless campers so they can leave the area, according to Theriault. Once the team’s work is accomplished, they move on to the next area, presumably moving the facility as well.
But for Hammer and other frustrated residents, there is a sense of hopelessness in the battle to remain in their homes.
“Now we’re realizing that we are no longer able to even clean our community and keep our family and our homes safe without police presence, ” Hammer told KGW-TV.
Earlier this year, residents had taken matters into their own hands in an attempt to do something about the homeless campers. They raised money to clean out the area, which was covered with garbage, needles and human waste, then planted dozens of rose bushes to discourage the return of campers.
However, the Oregon Department of Transportation soon notified them that the roses were planted on their property and had to be removed since a permit was not secured beforehand. The ODOT eventually flipped their position, and allowed the plants – but asked for signs and ribbons to be removed.
The ODOT apparently didn’t care about the campers or do anything about the trash and human filth in the area, but found it necessary to chide homeowners in the neighborhood about following bureaucratic red tape.
Portland has become a hotbed of progressive pandemonium in recent years. Riots targeting ICE agents, and sometimes innocent bystanders, are not uncommon and reportedly go unchecked by local police and city officials, including the mayor.
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