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Neighbors suspect strangers tapping their outdoor faucets

Neighbors in Portland's Sunnyside neighborhood suspect that homeless people are using their outside faucets to get water. (KATU Photo)

Several neighbors in Southeast Portland's Sunnyside neighborhood took to the app NextDoor to vent their frustrations after finding their outdoor hoses used, or even left running overnight.

"What happened was I came out two days ago and the water was on and it was just left on," said one neighbor, who asked not to be identified.

In that particular case, a nozzle prevented water from flowing freely throughout the night.

"Maybe they use the water, I don't know, but I was glad that I don't have an extra $200 water bill," the neighbor said.

Many in the neighborhood suggest that the local homeless population could be responsible for the running faucets, and Portland's Union Gospel Mission is trying to go right to the source to prevent those sort of issues.

"That's one thing that we do is bring water out to folks, because they don't typically have access to water," said Stacy Kean, communications director for the Union Gospel Mission.

"It is something to think about, to imagine yourself not having the ability just to go to the sink or to your fridge and get some water when your thirsty when it's hot out," Kean said.

The Union Gospel Mission sends a van and volunteers out five nights a week to deliver meals, hygiene items and water to Portland's homeless population, and those volunteers are doubling the amounts of water they're delivering during these summer months.

"We find that many, many of them are really dehydrated, so they're going through three and four cups of juice just to get some sugar and to get some liquid, and we put some water into every lunch that we hand out, and very often we're giving extra waters as well," said Jim Pressnell, a Union Gospel Mission volunteer.

"We try to bring as much water as we can. As much as gets donated, we're giving away," Pressnell said.

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