HOW DO I REPORT A CAMPSITE, GARBAGE, OR PEOPLE LIVING IN A VEHICLE AND WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO REPORT?
The Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (HUCIRP) runs the One Point of Contact Campsite reporting system and will respond to reports of unsanctioned urban camps, garbage, and about people living in vehicles. HUCIRP works with several partners including social services, PBOT’s vehicle inspection team, Bureau of Development Services Code Enforcement Team, and Police to help address these issues. Reports of garbage will be addressed within 1-3 business days.
The best way to report campsites is by visiting either www.portlandoregon.gov/campsites or www.pdxreporter.org. If you would prefer to call in, or do not have access to internet, you may call 503-823-4000 and an Information & Referral Specialist will take a report for you. You may use either one of the web report forms to submit a campsite report, but please note that it is not necessary to fill out both forms at once. You may pick one and send a report at least once or twice a week for as long as the problem persists. Also note- it is not necessary to submit multiple reports in one day. The City will review the report and work with their partners to help address the issue as quickly as possible.
Following submission of a report, you can follow up with any questions you may have by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I WITNESSED AN ILLEGAL DUMP ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR PUBLIC RIGHT OF WAY (UNRELATED TO HOMELESS CAMPS).
Contact Metro’s Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Patrol and file a report by calling 503-234-3000 or by going online at www.oregonmetro.gov/ridpatrol.
SOMEONE DUMPED GARBAGE AND JUNK ILLEGALLY ON MY PROPERTY.
Contact Metro's RID Patrol to request investigation of an illegal dump on your property, including parking lots, easements, or driveways or next to your dumpster or trash can. Please provide evidence with our request, such as mail, surveillance video, labels on prescription medications, or vehicle description with license plate numbers.
Do not move the items to public property. You could be cited for illegal dumping.
I WOULD LIKE TO REPORT AN ABANDONED VEHICLE AND/OR A VEHICLE THAT IS OCCUPIED.
In other areas, contact the local nuisance or code enforcement department in your city.
I WOULD LIKE TO REPORT STOCKPILED ITEMS OR TRASH IN SOMEONE'S PRIVATE YARD.
You can submit a report to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS). Visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/25079 to learn more.
I WOULD LIKE TO REPORT A HOMELESS CAMP.
In Gresham, you can make a report online at https://greshamoregon.gov/mygresham/.
In Clackamas County, you can make a report online at https://web3.clackamas.us/up/forms/violations.jsp.
In other areas, contact the local nuisance or code enforcement department in your city.
I WOULD LIKE TO REPORT A LIQUID SPILL.
The Bureau of Environmental Services’ Spill Hotline at 503-823-7180 responds 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In other areas: Call 911 for emergency and public safety assistance from the local fire, police and medical services. Otherwise contact your local nuisance or code enforcement department or local non-emergency police.
I FOUND NEEDLES AND SYRINGES ON MY PRIVATE PROPERTY.
If you find a syringe or other sharps, don’t pick them up with your bare hands. With gloves on, use tongs to place sharps in a sealable, puncture-proof container (heavy plastic, not glass). To avoid accidentally sticking yourself, do not hold the container while placing the syringe inside. Tape the container shut and label it: “Sharps Container DO NOT Recycle.”
Find sharps disposal options and locations here: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/tools-living/healthy-home/common-hazardous-products/medical-waste-or-sharps
WHY DOES PORTLAND HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS?
Homelessness is a challenge that many communities are grappling with across the United States. There really is no simple reason as to why individuals experience homelessness. The causes are diverse and related to many systemic and institutional structures within our country. Housing affordability is one contributor and one of the key issues facing individuals in our community. We are seeing a shortage in the amount of affordable homes available. That, coupled with the pace at which individuals are moving to our region has led to a decrease in places that people can actually afford. Additionally, we are seeing an increased amount of individuals with mental health issues and drug addiction issues living on our streets. Without the proper support systems in place for anyone experiencing homelessness, it can be difficult for someone to access and maintain permanent housing. Another factor that can lead to individuals experiencing homelessness is related to domestic violence. Oftentimes, people in this situation have no other option but to live outside. These reasons, coupled with the lack of available shelter space, means we are seeing more people living outside.
The reasons mentioned here are simplified. It should be known that the causes of homelessness can be vast and complex, and we as a community must come together if we wish to solve it. The City actively works with the Joint Office of Homeless Services (JOHS) to help address this community issue.
WHAT IS THE CITY GOING TO DO TO END HOMELESSNESS?
The City is a partner in a joint effort to house individuals experiencing homelessness, called A Home for Everyone. A Home for Everyone is a partnership of The City of Portland, Multnomah County, The City of Gresham, Meyer Memorial Trust, the business community, the nonprofit community, and the faith community- all with the goal of combining resources to target various strategies aimed at reducing homelessness.
The City's investments are aligned with A Home for Everyone’s strategic plan, and include investments made at every step of the homelessness continuum — helping to improve how people experience homelessness, providing more shelter space, and building more affordable housing.
THERE IS A LOT OF GARBAGE ON CITY PROPERTY NEAR WHERE I LIVE. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Send us a report! The City’s Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (HUCIRP) will respond to issues of garbage, debris, and biohazards within 1-3 business days.
If the items were dumped illegally (and not the result of a nearby encampment), contact Metro’s Regional Illegal Dumping (RID) Patrol and file a report by calling 503-234-3000 or by going online at www.oregonmetro.gov/ridpatrol.
ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR ISSUES ON PRIVATE PROPERTY?
The City cannot post, and clean campsites located on private property. If the issue is on private property other than your own, you can send us a report and we will forward it to BDS’ Code Enforcement team. Information on reporting code violations can be found on the Bureau of Development Services webpage (www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/34180). If the issue is on your own property, the City recommends the following:
- Report the campsite. There are two ways to report a campsite: an online form on the City of Portland’s webpage (www.portlandoregon.gov/campsites) or online at https://pdxreporter.org/. You can also call information and referral at 503-823-4000. This is for data collection purposes only.
- Call Police non-emergency at 503-823-3333. When speaking to non-emergency dispatch, it is most helpful to address the specific behaviors and not to address the individual’s perceived socioeconomic status. (Often, the operator may hear the words “homeless or transients etc.” and direct them back to OPC – when, in fact it needs to be addressed by police because it is on private property). Report that you have a person trespassing on your property, you need police assistance, and you would like to press charges.
- We recommend that you post a notice on your property informing individuals that any property that is there after 24 hours will be disposed of. Take a photo of your notice.
- If necessary, contact a crew or biohazard vendor to clean your property.
For more information on how HUCIRP will respond to issues of private property, please visit our Private Property Resource Document located within the resources page of our toolkit.
WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME HOMELESS?
People can experience homelessness for any range of reasons up to and including issues of mental health, drug/alcohol addictions, domestic violence, or just through the lack of any kind of supportive structure by which individuals could lean on family members or friends for help and assistance. Additionally, with rising cost of living and a lack of affordable housing, people who have jobs may also find themselves without a stable place to live.
The importance of housing in helping to maintain a stable situation for individuals is crucial, as housing stability provides the foundation by which individuals can have the benefits of a good job and education. These benefits are difficult to achieve without stable housing to build upon.
Portland is taking a "housing first" approach in working to solve homelessness. To read more about the City’s investments and the plan to end homelessness, please visit A Home For Everyone.
HOW DOES PORTLAND COMPARE TO OTHER COMMUNITIES WITH LARGE POPULATIONS OF INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS?
According to the last Point-in-Time Count in 2019, Multnomah County has approximately 4,015 people experiencing homelessness. Of those, 2,037 are living unsheltered. By comparison, Los Angeles County has approximately 52,765 individuals experiencing homelessness. Of those, 39,396 are living unsheltered. In Seattle/King County, their last point-in-time count shows 12,112 individuals experiencing homelessness, with 6,320 of those living unsheltered outside.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?
Check out our toolkit highlighting different volunteer opportunities. Organizations are always looking for clothes, shoes, and food donations as well.
HOW CAN I ACCESS SHELTER INFORMATION?
The best resource with the most up to date information regarding shelter is found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211info.org.