‘One Point of Contact’ over and over again

One Point of Contact is the city's way to report homeless camps

A homeless camp in the 600 block of SE 9th in Portland, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)
A homeless camp in the 600 block of SE 9th in Portland, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some business owners near SE 10th Avenue and Washington Street are frustrated by what they see as the city’s lack of response to nearby camps.

“This has just incrementally grown,” Jim Walter, who owns an industrial-space building on SE 9th Avenue, said.

Walter said the tents and tarps that hug his building along inner Southeast Washington Street continue bringing unwanted elements.

“I see cars pull up here, and there’s a lot of drug dealing going on,” said Walter.

Annie Liggett is an industrial tenant in a building in the 600 block of SE 9th and deals with homeless camps, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)
Annie Liggett is an industrial tenant in a building in the 600 block of SE 9th and deals with homeless camps, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)

Both he and his tenant, Anne Liggett, feel unheard, saying they’ve reported the camp weekly for months to Portland’s One Point of Contact system.

“They just text back and say that [they’re] dealing with the Springwater Corridor,” said Walter.

Meanwhile, Walter has been dealing with cleanup of his own every weekend, snapping photos of human waste and needles that he’s forced to remove to protect his investment.

A check of the city’s website shows 24 reports were filed about the camp last week, and a total of 46 reports were filed in the first 3 weeks in October alone.

The mayor’s office said the location has been posted and cleaned multiple times over the past 6 months.

Jim Walter owns a building in the 600 block of SE 9th and deals with homeless camps, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)
Jim Walter owns a building in the 600 block of SE 9th and deals with homeless camps, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)

Walter said, “[It was] once [cleaned] in June maybe. That’s all I know.”

He also said the campers came back within days and are now further entrenched. Some tents are even on raised wooden floors.

“I’ve put in $4,000 worth of lighting down this side of the building to try and discourage it, but nothing seems to work that I can do legally,” said Walter.

Officials said the area is about to return to a regular clean up rotation, and notice is probably going to be posted as soon as next week.

A homeless camp in the 600 block of SE 9th in Portland, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)
A homeless camp in the 600 block of SE 9th in Portland, October 31, 2016 (KOIN)