A cluster of tents forms the beginning of the homeless encampment that runs along the Bayside Trail on April 27. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The city of Portland on Tuesday morning will start clearing out a homeless encampment along the Bayside Trail that has grown to dozens of tents and drawn complaints from residents and area businesses.

The removal is scheduled to get underway between 8 and 9 a.m., city spokesperson Jessica Grondin said in an email Monday evening. Bayside Trail is located behind Trader Joe’s and other businesses on Marginal Way.

“The encampment on the Bayside Trail presents significant health and safety hazards to campers, the general public, the nearby business community, and City staff. Over the past month, despite multiple warnings the camp was scheduled for removal, it has grown in size,” City Manager Danielle West wrote in a memo to the City Council and Mayor Kate Snyder on Friday. “Trash receptacles placed onsite to assist campers in properly disposing of waste have not been effective in addressing the hazardous conditions.”

City policy requires 24 hours advance notice prior to removing an encampment, but West said the city provided campers with ample advance notice in the hope that community partners can help campers find shelter elsewhere.

City shelters are currently full and housing about 1,200 homeless people, including asylum seekers, so it’s not clear where the campers will go.

West said the city will pay transportation costs associated with helping a homeless person move in with a friend or family members. Anyone who is homeless can contact the city’s Social Services Division at 39 Forest Ave. to be notified directly when shelter beds become available.


“We recognize that, due to a lack of shelter capacity, some people may have no alternative but to sleep outdoors. In those cases we recommend that they do not place any tent, structure, or personal belongings on or near a public road or path, and keep their site small, clean and safe,” West said.

West says the city’s timeline calls for removing the encampment Tuesday with site remediation and restoration work in the area around the Bayside Trail to begin Wednesday.

Councilor April Fournier, who chairs the Health and Human Services and Public Safety Committee, said at Monday night’s council meeting that she was grateful for the work of staff on the encampment issue. She said she recognizes that the decision to clear the camp was not an easy one, but hopes the city’s actions will send a message to county and state officials as well as neighboring communities that Portland needs help.

“Whether it’s in the form of housing, resources or treatment beds, we have so many community providers in these encampments on a daily basis begging for resources and supplies,” Fournier said. “I’m hopeful that people will see this process and can jump in and help.”

Staff Writer Rachel Ohm contributed to this story 

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: