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Washington County Homeless Camp Unsafe
Homeless will not be prevented from returning once the site is cleaned

Following a risk assessment by Washington County staff, a determination has been made that unsafe and unhealthy conditions at a homeless encampment located in the 800 block of SW Baseline in Hillsboro required immediate action to clean the site. The assessment evaluated factors related to the presence of uncontained garbage, environmental concerns, criminal activity and the size of the encampment.

County staff have notified residents of the encampment that they have five days to remove all personal items and leave the location to allow cleanup work to begin on September 21. Outreach workers from partner agencies have also been notified and will follow up with camp residents to provide support and referrals to available resources during this difficult time.

Previously, on August 31, campers staying at the encampment were notified that unless conditions improved by September 14, the site would be posted for removal of all personal property, prior to cleaning by Washington County. Campers were also advised that if they were successful in reducing the risk situation, they would be allowed to stay -- per County policy and in compliance with U.S. Supreme Court ruling Martin v. Boise -- until future shelter options become available. During the ensuing two-week grace period, County staff provided support and supplies for camper-led clean-up efforts which resulted in the removal of several yards of bagged garbage as well as provision of porta-potties and regular garbage service.

Although people experiencing homelessness will not be prevented from returning once the site is cleaned, activities at this and other similar encampments are now being coordinated by the County’s newly created Encampment Management Program. Under the EMP’s organizational framework, cities and special districts have been invited to join in this unique opportunity to meet the urgent needs of the homeless, as well as the livability and safety concerns of nearby residents and business owners.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-09-19 12:13:58Last Update: 2021-09-19 12:28:40



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