University Park residents fed up with crime, drugs, trash

Civic Affairs

Residents met with city, county leaders to find solution

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents in North Portland’s University Park are fed up with what’s happening in their neighborhood– increasing crime, growing homeless camps, drug needles and trash.

Thursday afternoon a group of residents met with city leaders from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office, the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County.

They said they regularly pick up hundreds of discarded used drug needles. The University Park Neighborhood Association has been trying to figure out how to deal with the multiple issues.

A bag full of used needles were collected by the residents in North Portland’s University Park, January 30, 2020 (KOIN)

But they want to stop a non-profit clean needle handout program, Portland People’s Outreach Project, from setting up a mobile site in the neighborhood each weekend. It’s not a needle exchange program.

John Shideler is a resident in North Portland’s University Park, January 30, 2020 (KOIN)

Homeowner John Shideler told KOIN 6 News they “found just a carpet of needles. We had 4 gunshots reports on this street just last week.”

Following the meeting the mayor’s public safety advisor said the group of city and county staff will look at the problems in the neighborhood and work on some solutions in the next few weeks.

One of those issues: Funding. Multnomah County cut back money in the past to fund needle exchange programs in some areas like North Portland.

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