Springwater Corridor outreach begins for homeless

Homeless campers must be out by August 1

Along the Springwater Corridor in Portland, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)
Along the Springwater Corridor in Portland, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While no one is getting kicked out yet, outreach teams are meeting with hundreds of homeless campers along the Springwater Corridor.

On Friday, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, calling it dangerous and essentially out of control, announced the corridor would be cleaned out of the homeless campers.

Teams of outreach workers began talking with the campers Monday, with the final clean out set for August 1.

Not everyone is convinced it will work.

Dave Locke said he's glad the homeless will be moved off the Springwater Corridor, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)
Dave Locke said he’s glad the homeless will be moved off the Springwater Corridor, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)

“The last time they moved the ones from 82nd, they moved 500 yards,” said neighbor David Locke. “And it was just as bad a few weeks later.”

Locke also said the corridor “gets kind of scary” later in the day when the sun begins to set.

Jennifer Houdek wonders where the homeless campers along the Springwater Corridor will go once they are moved out, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)
Jennifer Houdek wonders where the homeless campers along the Springwater Corridor will go once they are moved out, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)

Another neighbor, Jennifer Houdek, understands the reality Hales is facing. The homeless, she said, “have nowhere to go. Where are they going to go?”

The mayor said they’re trying to add shelter beds as fast as possible — including 200 this month — and a shelter in Southeast Portland will open soon.

Hales’ spokesperson Sara Hottman told KOIN 6 News there will be 400 new shelter beds by the end of October. The mayor is also hoping local churches will continue to help the city by providing some shelter.

The mayor declined an interview request from KOIN 6 News.

“I’m glad they’re going to do something. They need to do something,” Locke said. “I mean, this (the Springwater Corridor) is for everybody. It’s pretty much not for everybody any more. It’s been taken over.”

A sign along the Springwater Corridor in Portland, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)
A sign along the Springwater Corridor in Portland, July 18, 2016 (KOIN)

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