PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Springwater Corridor is set for an unprecedented sweep in just over 2 weeks, and it’s expected to send hundreds of local homeless people scrambling for new shelter.
William Gray is one of an estimated 500 people camping along the trail. He says he doesn’t have any idea where he’ll be once the city moves in for the big cleanup.
“We’re not going away, I mean, we can’t,” Gray said. “Time is kind of the essence for a lot of us right now… When you have a lot of people who have nothing left and nothing to lose, that’s the ingredients to a disaster.”
Gray says he believes many homeless people, including himself, will end up in other neighborhoods surrounding the Springwater Corridor once the city forces them out.
But Marc Jolin, director of the newly-established Joint Office of Homeless Services, said locals shouldn’t be worried about the homeless spilling into their neighborhoods.
“Folks are going to have to sleep somewhere, but the expectation is they do that in a way that doesn’t have an adverse impact on their neighbors,” Jolin said.
Until more shelter spaces are available, homeless people currently living on the Springwater Corridor will have to find some other chunk of public land to use.
Jolin admits the city and county’s biggest problem right now is that they don’t have enough resources for all of the people living in areas like the Springwater Corridor.
Gray says he expects most people will leave peacefully come September 1.