PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hundreds of homeless and displaced people have been living along the Springwater Corridor for quite some time, but that time is coming to an end.
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales announced Wednesday that the sweep, originally planned for August 1, would be pushed back a month. The date was changed to allow more time to help the people there find a new place to go.
“A lot of us don’t really have a place to go,” said Barbara, a camper. “Granted they are opening up shelters and what not but there’s like a shelter opening up for 200 people but there’s at least 500 people just in the short period of space along the trail. 300 of us are not going to have a place to go, you know?”
The “Avenue of Terror” hasn’t just been home to those without one. It has also had a host of drugs, crime and trash. Despite that, many people there are just trying to get by, and worry about what comes next.
“I just passed a family that I know has 2 little girls and I know for them, I’m pretty sure and I know for them it’s going to be very difficult to just pack up and move,” Barbara said.
The situation at the Springwater Corridor doesn’t just affect those living along the trail, but the homeowners and taxpayers who live nearby as well. They say the bad outweigh the good, and it’s time to get these people out.
Steve Spinnett, who owns a business on the corridor, says he isn’t anti-homeless, but does think they need to move.
“The Springwater Corridor is not designed for homeless, it’s just not,” he said.
Spinnett advocates for and helps some of the trouble people along the trail, and was one of the handful of people who urged Hales to push back the sweep.
“We need the extra month for these people to get adjusted but also for the city,” Spinnett said. “The city spent a lot of money on homeless shelters and different things for the homeless, but it’s still not a cohesive plan.”
Many homeless along the trail aren’t taking the sweep very seriously. They think it’s just for show due to the “Hood to Coast” race, but the mayor’s office has said repeatedly that this cleanup is very real.
The new deadline for the homeless to be out of the area is September 1.