Portland is getting ready to dismantle a homeless encampment in the Bayside neighborhood.
Portland’s Emergency Shelter Assessment Committee, which met Tuesday night, is recommending that the city move soon to remove the encampment after multiple recent incidents, including a man swinging a bat that had a knife attached to it and another threatening people with pepper spray. Health concerns also are an issue.
The city planned to tear it down last month, but put a pause on that, citing concerns about where people would go.
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City officials said that encampment continues to grow, jumping from about 50 tents at this point last week to more than 80 currently.
“And as of Sunday afternoon, we were up to 84 tents on the Bayside Trail alone, and about 128 tents citywide,” Portland Parks and Recreation Director Ethan Hipple said. “Now that includes a large encampment at the Fore River Parkway that we should be talking about as well, as part of this that needs attention.”
The city said there are more than 20 tents now set up at that separate encampment off the Fore River Parkway near Mercy Hospital.
The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is monitoring the situation and visiting next week.
There is still no specific timeline for tearing down the Bayside camp, but officials plan to visit there and possibly set a deadline as early as Wednesday.