PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A Homeless camp at NW 19th Ave. and Raleigh St. has nearby business owners calling for action.
Casey Murry, owner of Sniff Dog Hotel just blocks away, said he routinely finds needles and human feces in the surrounding area. At night, he said, parked bikes are stolen or ransacked and staff inside the 24 hour facility are harassed by people banging on the windows.
“We know it’s a very sensitive situation,” said Murry. “We just want to figure out a game plan.”
Murry said the city needs to step in with more facilities, or help the people living there find a different location. He said safety issues surrounding people defecating on nearby sidewalks and leaving hypodermic needles are his chief concerns.
“We have dogs and staff and kids around and it’s not a very positive environment,” he said.
Because the Oregon Department of Transportation owns the area underneath the I-405 overpass where the camp is located, they are partially responsible for finding a solution. Spokesperson Don Hamilton said the situation is difficult to amend for a myriad of reasons. Among them, the number of agencies involved and the socially sensitive subject matter.
“It’s clear how this can cause disruption, he said. “We get a lot of stories about a lot of scary and dangerous trash and refuse left behind.”
“We work very closely with the police that these trespass laws are enforced, but it’s not an easy or smooth process and has a lot of difficult overtones,” he said.