PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – At the start of and around the Peninsula Crossing Trail in North Portland, the city has placed a “closed zone. Do not enter.” Registration, along with the entry, the track will be temporarily closed until Friday, June 16.
Homeless people living on the trail say their encampment will soon be removed, but the city has offered them a place to live in a recently completed safe recreation village near the trail.
“It seems unreal because we’ve been here so long,” said TT, a woman we spoke to who says she’s been living on the trail for the past few months. “Maybe almost a year ago, I settled for two years, but it failed. They just stopped contacting us and we’re back here again. We’re back to what we know best. Here. Before that, I was here for 6 years.”
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On Thursday, city employees could be seen walking along the entrance to the trail. Green flyers are posted in the camp.
“When they said about a safe holiday village and they put it here,” said TT. “We thought they were going to settle people who were already here, but they weren’t.”
TT says initially, the city wasn’t going to put them in their nearby Safe Vacation Village, but he and others argued they should be prioritized. Eventually it seems the town agreed and TT and the others lived in Safe Rest Village or slowly moved their belongings.
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“Oh my god, I love it,” said TT. “The staff is amazing. They are friendly. It is very welcome. not judge. Most of them were where we were. They understand our struggle.”
TT says about 80 people live along the trail; 60 will go to the Peninsula Crossing Trail Safe Holiday Village, while the remaining 20 will travel to other safe holiday villages in the city that have openings.
Off camera, others shared concerns that there aren’t enough places for others experiencing homelessness to go and how the city has treated them in the past.
“They say ‘oh we come out here all the time and offer accommodation’ no they don’t,” TT said. “were not. We want to trust, but it’s hard. Now they are because we actually work with them. We make them come out here, make sure we get housing. “
TT says he is now looking to the future.
“In one year I plan to come home with my children, live, love life,” said TT. “I have two child. My daughter is in high school. I must return to them because they need me. I’m going to go back to the remodeled mom. I’m ready to get back into the fight and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
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