Overlook homeless camp on city’s cleanup list

Civic Affairs

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — From mounting trash to loose dogs, some North Portland residents have big concerns about a growing homeless camp near a popular pedestrian bridge over I-5.

In the past month or so, there have been more than 30 complaint to the City of Portland about the homeless camp in the Overlook neighborhood, near N. Montana and Failing. Neighbors in the area said it’s gotten so big they don’t feel safe walking past this camp alone.

Eric Brakken lives in the Overlook neighborhood near a growing homeless camp at N. Montana and Failing in Portland, January 27, 2020 (KOIN)

The City of Portland manages cleanup on the ODOT property located on the neighborhood side of the I-5 sound wall at the Failing Street Pedestrian Bridge. City officials told KOIN 6 News the site is posted for cleanup and is slated to be done by the end of this week.

“Well, we’ve see these camps grow and then be cleaned up and then they’re moved and then they come back and grow again,” said Eric Brakken, who has lived in the neighborhood for about 11 years.

On Monday, several loose dogs associated with the camp were spotted running around the area. One neighbor told KOIN 6 News one of the dogs became aggressive over the weekend and they had to call animal control.

City of Portland Weekly Campsite Report
City of Portland Homelessness Toolkit
One Point of Contact Campsite Reports

Police responded to the camp about a week ago for an alleged assault.

Many pedestrians and cyclists come through this location because it’s the same spot where the Failing Street Pedestrian Bridge crosses I-5. It’s also close to a MAX stop on North Interstate.

A woman who spoke with KOIN 6 News asked to keep her identity protected. “When I walk by here I hope it’s gone, but it isn’t. I just wish that there could be a solution for these people to have a safe place, clean place.”

Robert Malloy has been staying at a homeless camp in the Overlook neighborhood, near N. Montana and Failing in Portland, for about 2 months, January 27, 2020 (KOIN)

Robert Malloy, who has been at the camp for about 2 months, said there’s about a dozen people staying there right now.

“At this point in time it’s a very safe place now,” Malloy said. “We got rid of all the people that made it bad and trashed it out, and we’re hoping to stay here.”

This site was previously cleaned on September 4 and on December 18, city officials said. Camp clean-ups were on hold for a week at the beginning of January while the city was awarding a new contract for cleanup services.

Crews are still catching up. There are currently 100 sites posted for cleanup.

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