Lents residents plead with city to fix neighborhood

Some neighbors suggested sweeping the largest homeless camp in Lents

The mess left behind by homeless campers near SE 104th and Reedway. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Residents of the Lents neighborhood packed a community meeting Tuesday night to express concerns about livability issues.

Zombie homes, trash, livability and homeless camps were some of the topics discussed as residents pleaded with city leaders to pay attention to their neighborhood.

Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz attend a Lents community meeting, Tuesday, April 4, 2017. (KOIN)

Neighbor after neighbor told personal stories about their run-ins with the homeless and the large encampments that have become an unwanted representation of Lents.

“Children are in danger walking to school,” one person told the council.

But they didn’t just air their grievances. Community members also offered up solutions to many problems that Mayor Ted Wheeler said he could be open to.

“I’m coming in here really optimistic and really energized about what we can accomplish,” Wheeler said. “I didn’t support the tent camping policy. I still don’t. I would like to see more compassionate alternatives to living in the streets, living by the park and connecting people with those alternatives.”

Some neighbors suggested sweeping the largest homeless camp in Lents with a zero tolerance policy. It’s something many people want as summer approaches.