PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — 150 homeless camps along the Springwater Trail were removed Tuesday as part of an organized cleanup between SE 75th Ave. and SE 83rd Ave., according to Portland Police.
Police said up to 450 people were living at those camps.
Multnomah County and the City of Portland were involved, including police and contract workers who are removing trash.
It could take several days to clean up the area because of biohazards, like drug needles and human waste, at the sites.
Signs were posted Friday warning campers to leave. Most of the campers had left by Tuesday morning, but the problem continues.
“There’s just a large number. There’s no simple solution, we’re talking about a lot of people. And then there’s mental health issues, addiction issues, sometimes there’s the same issue with one person,” said Sergeant Randy Teig.
The mile long stretch was just one of 40 sites slated to be cleaned up.
Some of the camps were located right behind Cartlandia, a popular food cart pod on SE 82nd Ave.
Cartlandia and other groups recently sued Portland Mayor Charlie Hales over his homeless policy, calling Mayor Hales’ steps to curb the homeless problem in Portland an “abuse of power” and an “authoritarian act”.
One food cart owner at the pod told KOIN 6 News the homeless campers were affecting business.
“It does because they come in here, solicit food, solicit money, solicit drinks, solicit money from customers and stuff was stolen,” said the cart owner.