'Hope Village' homeless campers evicted off land

KATU News photo

A self-managed homeless camp called "Hope Village" was evicted from a nature area in Northeast Portland Friday morning.

The campers moved in Jan. 29 near 17th Avenue and Marine Drive, down a newly-made path in the trees. Organizers had planned to move in about 20 people and have an on-site manager 24 hours a day.

However, about a week later, city authorities notified the campers they would be evicted. A peaceful protest was held Thursday morning, and a sweep occurred Friday.

Campers had said they are now out of options and have nowhere else to go.

“There’s nowhere to go. We been swept from Portland. We’ve been swept from Gresham. We’ve been swept from the neighborhood association. We’ve been swept from the industrial district, the business district. Where can we go?” said Ibrahim Mubarak from the Right 2 Survive.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Amanda Fritz released the following statement Friday:

We are pleased that the camp cleanup at Big Four Corners occurred without incident this morning. Park Rangers and Police acted with courtesy and compassion, and assisted the two resident campers in gathering their belongings and moving off the site. Those camping were offered shelter options. The campers and organizers were cooperative, and no arrests were made.
Parks and natural areas are not appropriate places for building homes. Parks belong to everyone, and each has designated purposes established through community processes. We have learned from past experience that even well-intentioned, well-run camps draw other campers to the area which the organizers cannot control, causing environmental degradation that squanders previous investments in restoration work.
The City of Portland in partnership with Multnomah County and A Home for Everyone supports a comprehensive strategy to address homelessness that includes prevention, shelter, housing placement, and services to help people get off the street and stay off the street. Last year nearly 4,900 people obtained housing, 6,139 people started receiving prevention services, and 8,532 people accessed emergency shelter.
We thank the Park Rangers and Police for their caring response at Big Four Corners, and we pledge to continue to work towards providing shelter, housing, and services for people needing them.”
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