Homeless Camps In Close Proximity To Portland Schools Attract The Interest Of Multnomah County Commissioner!

Students around Portland are returning to school this week, but the start of the school year shines a new emphasis on Portland’s battle to develop and enforce guidelines about where homeless encampments should be located.

On Wednesday, 30, August 2023 students at Oliver P. Lent Elementary School played outside during recess, while on the opposite side of the school fence, Portland homeless camp clearance teams tossed mattresses and wooden pallets into a big moving truck, taking down a camp that was too near to the schoolyard.

They should not be anywhere near a school, who was picking up his stolen bike tires among the camp’s rubble. They should understand better, you know.

Last year at this time, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler forbade homeless people from sleeping on streets where K-12 pupils walk to school. City crews have been clearing camps that violate this law all month. However, many people remain.

Julia Brim-Edwards, Multnomah County Commissioner and Portland Public Schools board member has taken notice of the rising problem.

She took to social media this week to highlight many Portland schools that are still surrounded by camps, such as the one close to Kellogg Middle School on Southeast 71st Avenue and Powell Boulevard.

Homeless Camps In Close Proximity To Portland Schools Attract The Interest Of Multnomah County Commissioner

“I’m a parent of three kids who went to PPS and walked to school every day for nine years, and I know how important it is for our kids to be able to walk to school,” Brim-Edwards added. She also stated that she is aware that the issue extends beyond camp removals.

One of the things that the city and county need to make sure is that there is adequate shelter space. Sufficient shelter space is critical to all of this, and the plan to get there appears to be a never-ending conversation between county and city leaders.

KGW also heard from Portland Public Schools. PPS relies on the city to monitor and address safety concerns in our school communities, including encampments. While we are deeply concerned about our pupils’ health and safety, our top priority is to teach them.

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