Wednesday, June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021

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Homeless camps swept from Portland park

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Portland — Police officers, cleanup crews and homeless advocates converged on Laurelhurst Park as city officials asked people living at the Southeast Portland park to move along Tuesday morning.

The city had posted cleanup notices Friday after nearby residents complained about trash and sanitation. As of 9 a.m., about 20 campers remained, advocates said. They estimate as many as 50 people had set up to camp in recent weeks.

Billy Rogers says he’s been living in the park for 6 1/2 years, sleeping on benches or on park pathways.

Rogers and a pair of buddies were loading their belongings into a black SUV on Tuesday morning. He’s not sure where he’s going.

The cleanup was ordered by city officials after complaints were filed through the city’s One Point Of Contact and to various city bureaus about homeless people at the park, said Brian Worely, a spokesman for Mayor Charlie Hales’ office. Officials consider factors such as garbage, aggressive behavior, drug use and the presence of children before ordering cleanups.

Rogers said he’ll be back. He loves Laurelhurst too much, and he’s not interested in sleeping in a shelter if given the opportunity.

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