PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Neighbors near Portland’s Laurelhurst Park say a homeless camp is back just hours after the city removed it on Thursday.
The city told KOIN 6 News they know that after crews remove these camps, people will likely return in the following days or weeks. However, the camp that was swept on Thursday was back within a few hours, according to neighbors.
The same sidewalk that crews cleared now has a handful of tents, an old RV and some people living in their cars, along with scattered trash.
Some of the same campers KOIN 6 News talked to on Thursday say they came back after cleanup crews left.
“It’s a community, you know, upwards of 30 people that are always here they view it as their home, that’s why they keep coming back here specifically,” Dan Plimmer, one of the campers, said.
A neighbor reached out to KOIN 6 News and said she saw the camp popping up again Thursday night.
“You hear that they’re going to sweep, that it’s on the schedule, and you have this hope. This hope that this time that it will take, and they will keep them away and we will have our safe neighborhood back,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor, who wanted to remain anonymous for safety reasons, said many homeowners feel like they cannot walk or drive along the street and says this has impacted her mental health.
“I don’t think you can realize the impact of living near a homeless camp unless you really live very close to one. Every day, you see the trash and the debris and drug deals and the drug use,” she said. “I had compassion for a long time.”
In a statement on Thursday, the City of Portland told KOIN 6 News, in part, “we firmly maintain that being homeless is not a crime and there are limited options for people to go. This upsets many residents, but again, our primary goal is to reduce the impact camping has on the community — not to prevent camping in public spaces.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to the city on Friday and asked what it costs taxpayers each time a camp is removed. They said it varies depending on the camp but noted the one at Laurelhurst was swept a month ago — taking crews 25 hours and costing around $2,000.