Homeless living on Peninsula Crossing Trail invited to live in nearby Safe Rest Village

Those experiencing homelessness living on the trail say their camp will be swept soon.
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 10:51 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - At the beginning and around the Peninsula Crossing Trail in North Portland, the city has placed “Area Closed. Do Not Enter.” signs up, along with a note reading the trail will be temporarily closed through Friday, June 16.

Those experiencing homelessness living on the trail say their camp will be swept soon, but the city has offered for them to live in the recently completed Safe Rest Village near the trail.

“It seems unreal because we have been here so long,” said TT, a woman we spoke to who says she’s lived along the trail the last several months. “I was housed what, maybe almost a year ago for two years, but it fell through. They just stopped contacting us and we ended up back out here again. We went back to what we know best. Here. Before that, I was out here for 6 years.”

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On Thursday, city employees could be seen at the entrance to the trail, as well as walking along it. Green notice flyers have been posted in the camp.

“When they said about the Safe Rest Village and they were putting one here,” said TT. “We thought they were going to house the people that were already here, but that wasn’t the case.”

TT says at first, the city wasn’t going to place them at their nearby Safe Rest Village, but she and others argued they should get priority. Eventually the city seemed to agree, and TT and others have been living in the Safe Rest Village or have slowly moving their things in.

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“Oh my god I love it,” said TT. “The staff is amazing. They are friendly. Very welcoming. Not judgmental. Most of them have been where we were. They understand our struggle.”

TT says around 80 people have been living along the trail; 60 are moving into the Peninsula Crossing Trail Safe Rest Village and the other 20 will be going to other Safe Rest Villages in the city that have openings.

Off camera, others shared concerns like there not being 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 offering housing’ no they don’t,” said TT. “Weren’t. We want to trust, but it’s hard. Now they are because we are actually working with them. We are making them come out here, making sure we get housing.”

TT says she is now looking to the future.

“In a year now, I plan to be back home with my kids, living, loving life,” said TT. “I have two kids. My daughter is about to be in high school. I have to get back to them because they need me. I am going to go back a remade mother. I’m ready to get back in the fight and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”