Lents neighborhood protests homeless crisis

Residents hope to get the attention of city leaders

Lents neighborhood protests homeless crisis on July 9, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — People living in the Lents neighborhood in SE Portland say they’re tired of finding syringes and trash everywhere and having pets stolen from their homes.

Many say the homeless are responsible for the mess and crime, buy they’re left feeling like their complaints have been ignored by city officials.

Rene Bauer was at the Lents protest representing the homeless population. (KOIN)
Rene Bauer was at the Lents protest representing the homeless population. (KOIN)

On July 9, those feelings came to a head with residents holding up signs and protesting, in hopes of getting the city’s attention. They stood at the intersection of Foster Rd. and SE 82nd Ave.

Robert Schultz, the co-founder of the Lents Active Watch, says a lot of concerns relate to the Springwater Corridor. That area has a lot of homeless camping, trash and crime.

“We have a lot of criminality. We have our parks that families don’t feel comfortable using. Children stuck with needles recently,” Schultz said.

Rene Bauer took part in the protest as well, but not for exactly the same reasons — she’s homeless. She’s been living on the streets, in stairwells, behind bushes for 3 years.

“I’m out here to fight for the homeless. I’m out here to fight for women,” Bauer said. “We need protection. We need to clean this area up!”

They all hope they can get the attention of someone who will do something about what many are calling the Lents homeless crisis.

“We’d like to be included in more conversations,” Schultz said.

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