MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (KOIN) — In the face of growing homeless problems in McMinnville, city leaders have proposed a sanctioned homeless camp just outside of the city.
But many neighbors are not on board with the idea.
The homeless population has been steadily growing over the past 2 years in McMinnville. With the increase in homeless camps comes an increase in other problems, like crime and trash.
RVs and tents have gathered near the McMinnville Water & Light building and Joe Dancer Park.
Neighbors in the area say they’ve been threatened by some campers and, on occasion, chased by dogs living in the camp.
One of the solutions the city is proposing is to build a sanctioned campsite in a field off Riverside Drive just outside city limits in Yamhill County.
But for local resident Cecilia Pike, the proposal opens up a slew of concerns.
“I’m concerned about drug use, I’m concerned about violence, I’m concerned about proper sanitation and public health,” said Pike.
Pike’s concerns are shared by many in the community. But Jacob Miller, who lives in an RV in the area, encourages them to look at the matter in a different light.
“People have to open up their hearts a little more about things,” he said. “They have to have compassion.”
On Thursday, Yamhill County Commissioner Mary Starret said the county board only just learned about the proposal and county officials will have to consider zoning.
Meanwhile, McMinnville Mayor Scott Hill sent the following statement to KOIN 6 News:
City Councilor Sal Peralta said he’s in favor of the city declaring an emergency to free up more resources to deal with the homeless crisis.
Peralta sent KOIN 6 News the following statement: