Members of the media,
Please see a statement below from Mayor Wheeler regarding today’s campsite removal at Laurelhurst Park.
We are taking action at Laurelhurst Park to ensure the health and safety of people living in our community and of our shared public spaces. Outreach workers have been on-site almost daily for the last two weeks. We created and offered alternative warm, dry indoor spaces for people to go where they have access to hygiene, water, food and services. We posted the site clearly and with ample warning so people were aware that a change was needed.
Moving forward, we will continue providing compassionate alternatives to street camping while preventing large-scale camps that block sidewalks and rights of way, creating public safety and health risks and obstructing access to shared community spaces.
As we continue to address sites that pose risks to public and environmental health and safety, we will be deliberate in ensuring we continue to thoughtfully and sustainably balance a broad variety of needs and expectations.
We thank the city’s urban camping impact reduction team and the service providers who are staffing our shelters for helping us act with compassion for people experiencing homelessness and for the people who live and work near camps.