PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portlanders are calling on city leaders to deliver results and solve two ongoing crises which they say are impacting the livability of the city — homelessness and addiction.

“It’s not like these people are evil,” said Portland resident Doug Richards. “They’re out of their mind — whether it’s drugs or mental illness, it’s really disturbing”

“You can’t walk a block without running into a tent,” he added. “It’s impossible.”

On a walk with Richards through his downtown neighborhood, a KOIN 6 News crew saw several power washers that operators said were for cleaning up human waste.

“There’s been a number of instances where individuals have tried to get into our building,” Richards said. “We’ve had individuals be attacked, there’s a biohazard concern.”

A KOIN 6 crew also observed a person purchase a 24-pack of water bottles with food stamps and proceed to pour all the water down a storm drain. Richards said he regularly sees this routine which he claims is to cash in $2.40 cents at the bottle drop.

A KOIN 6 crew observed a person purchase a 24-pack of water bottles with food stamps and proceed to pour all the water down a storm drain. (KOIN)

“Definitely, it’s changed drastically, ” said Amanda Steffen, a resident of Southeast Portland’s Hawthorne neighborhood. “It’s night and day.”

She said she is also struggling with how the city she fell in love with is unrecognizable.

Steffen has been a victim of car vandalism four times. Most recently, she said someone used her car as a toilet.

“When I looked up in the front seat, the smell is what hit me first. Besides all the garbage in the front seat, there was also human feces,” she said. “All over the driver’s seat — and spit all over the dashboard and steering wheel.”

In total, the incident cost $8,000 in damage.

“The fact someone did this without thinking twice about it shows it was a mental health crisis,” Steffen said.

Commissioner Dan Ryan attributes some of the issue to drug abuse.

“We have too many people in our city right now that are homeless, that are doing drugs, hard drugs, and that’s their main focus every day,” Ryan said.

He said Portlanders can’t be in denial about the amount of addiction out on the city’s streets.

“This is impacting the city everywhere,” he said. “So we have to look into how we do some mandatory treatments.”

Ryan said he’s called on state and county leaders, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt and the city’s community safety director to help him get to the bottom of this.

“It’s not tolerable to continue to accept this behavior in the city of roses,” Ryan said.

Ryan said he’s been doing his best to find places to move forward with Safe Rest Villages for the homeless, to get people into treatment, but that he’s faced serious headwinds internally and externally.

“I’ve been working with the attorneys at the city and with the bureaus to actually treat this more like an emergency, to give us more authority to cite properties,” he said.

Meanwhile, Portlanders say they deserve to see results from leadership. They will no longer accept empty promises from politicians.

“It’s not just Dan Ryan’s load to carry, it’s the entire city council, it’s the entire county,” Richards said. “Everybody needs to participate, and if all you’re going to do is criticize, you’re not helping anyone — you need to put some ideas out there as well.”

Steffen said the responsibility partially falls on voters.

“We are their bosses and we need to hold them accountable,” she said. “We are the ones who need to elect the right people in office who will do something about it.”

Richards and Steffen aren’t willing to give up on Portland.

“I’m so hopeful we can get things turned around,” Richards said.

“Just keeping that portland faith and spirit alive,” Steffen added.

KOIN 6 News has shared these stories with Mayor Ted Wheeler. He responded, saying, “These concerns have become all too familiar in Portland; I hear similar stories daily. All options are on the table as we work to address Portland’s housing crisis with urgency, thoughtfulness, and compassion. All Portlanders have a right to feel safe.”

KOIN 6 News has also reached out to District Attorney Schmidt’s office and the community safety director Mike Myers for comment on mandatory treatment for addicts.

Myers did not have a comment on this issue, saying it is not something being worked on directly by his office.

This article will be updated with the DAs response.