‘The only thing that works is to show compassion’

Nick Davidson and Terry Moses began outreach efforts on Peninsula Crossing Trail

Nick Davidson shakes hand with a camper at a homeless camp on the Peninusla Crossing Trail, November 2, 2016. (KOIN)
Nick Davidson shakes hand with a camper at a homeless camp on the Peninusla Crossing Trail, November 2, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Instead of waiting for the city to do something about the mess at a North Portland homeless camp, 2 locals took matters into their own hands and are working with the campers who live there to make things better for everyone.

Two local men handed out food and basic supplies to homeless campers on the Peninusla Crossing Trail. (KOIN)
Two local men handed out food and basic supplies to homeless campers on the Peninusla Crossing Trail. (KOIN)

Nick Davidson walked onto the camp on the Peninsula Crossing Trail Wednesday morning with an armload of basic needs: bread, cheese, bananas, lunch meat and water for the people who live there.

“The only thing that works is to show some compassion,” Davidson, who is organizing the cleanup effort, told KOIN 6 News.

Davidson and Terry Moses began their outreach at the homeless camp a couple months ago.

They’d rather it wasn’t there at all, but since it is, they’re doing everything possible to soften the otherwise harsh reality of homeless camps.

Trash at a homeless camp on the Peninsula Crossing Trail. (GoFundMe)
Trash at a homeless camp on the Peninsula Crossing Trail. (GoFundMe)

When they started, Davidson and Moses said the grounds were littered with trash.

“Just because they’re out here is no excuse to devastate the environment,” Davidson said. “It’s a miserable existence… even with the little bit of help that we’re giving.”

Terry Moses is helping to clean up the mess at a North Portland homeless camp. (KOIN)
Terry Moses is helping to clean up the mess at a North Portland homeless camp. (KOIN)

A nearby hillside shows there’s still plenty of work to do, but both Davidson and Moses are finding that constant kindness is going a long way.

“This is their habitat, this is their home, this is all they know,” Moses said. “So if we decide to lend a helping hand, all we ask of them is to lend a helping hand. Keep your place clean.”

Both men say they understand how much of a difference just a few people can make.

“We’re just 2 guys trying to help out as best we can,” Moses said.

There is so much trash at the homeless camp that it costs over $100 to dump each week. A GoFundMe account was set up to help with those costs and for food.