Police Sweeps Raise Concerns As Portland Readies To Resume Homeless Cleanups

“A lot of nonprofits just can’t do their work,” said Katie O’Brien, executive director at Rose Haven, a day shelter serving women, children and gender-diverse people. “Initially everybody tried to adjust and then some people didn’t have continued funding. Some people are very volunteer run and they lost their volunteer corps.”

Source: Jonathan Levinson, OPB.org
Date: May 23, 2020

Portland police conducted a number of homeless camp cleanups in Old Town and Chinatown on Thursday, after announcing earlier this month they would carry out “high visibility patrols” focused on crime prevention. PPB said the patrols were in response to residents’ perceptions of being unsafe in the neighborhood.

Police Chief Jamie Resch said the patrols aren’t merely to keep downtown clean.

“While it’s not an effort to specifically cleanup camps, it is an effort and an outreach to address criminal behavior,” Resch said in an interview this week with The Portland Business Alliance.

“The emphasis on the camps that we see is the people that are blocking the rights of way,” she said. “To try to work with them to try to get them to move to one side or another, to clean up what they can clean up, to provide services and address any criminal behavior that we may see.”