A mom, her baby and a houseless camper near Oregon City

Clackamas County

Shela Lawrence has called 911 about a dozen times

OREGON CITY, Ore. (KOIN) — Shela Lawrence and her baby daughter live in an apartment building near Oregon City which sits right next to a small bridge and creek. Lawrence said a houseless man has been camping off-and-on at that spot since they move in about a year ago.

On several occasions, she said, the man yelled and screamed at her and her baby for no apparent reason. Then things escalated when the yelling turned into rock throwing.

Lawrence told KOIN 6 News the man cracked a window with a rock and dented the wall on her balcony. Then this week, the rocks broke both her bedroom window and the window of a neighbor below. Her baby was asleep in the room when it happened, just feet away from the shattered glass.

Shela Lawrence of Oregon City said a houseless camper has repeatedly thrown rocks at and through her apartment windows, April 1, 2021 (KOIN)

Lawrence said she called 911 — just like she has nearly a dozen times before about this man — but when deputies arrived this time he was gone.

“It kind of just seems like it’s, there’s nothing anybody can do and that’s also frustrating because not only does he need help but, like, we also are being affected by the fact that he’s not getting the help that he needs,” she said.

Lawrence said they don’t feel safe sitting on their balcony anymore and said their neighbor recently put up a tarp to cover hers.

Shela Lawrence of Oregon City said a houseless camper has repeatedly thrown rocks at and through her apartment windows, April 1, 2021 (KOIN)

Clackamas County officials told KOIN 6 News they have outreach workers and several programs to help connect houseless individuals to services, including a crisis line and non-emergency numbers people can call.

They also said if you see someone experiencing a mental health crisis or witness criminal activity, call 911.

Lawrence did. But in this case, deputies can’t do anything unless he comes back.

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