The City of Portland has rescheduled its planned sweeps of the various homeless encampments throughout the city for January 2 due to rain.
“This resolution was postponed due to the rain in order to ensure the health and safety of all involved; the new resolution date, based on the weather and the upcoming holiday, will be Tuesday, January 2nd,” the city wrote in an update Friday.
This is the second time the city has rescheduled the clearing out of the encampments after initially scheduling them to occur on December 19.
Portland city officials announced last week that the sweeps of the large encampments at Harbor View Park and Douglas St. were being postponed to Thursday, Dec. 28, to allow for “further outreach to get people into available shelter and provide the City Council with additional information.”
Roughly 100 shelter beds remain available at the Homeless Services Center (HSC) following the recent opening of a new 180-bed shelter for single asylum-seeking migrants, and a move by the City Council to expand the HSC by 50 beds.
Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 17, 43 homeless individuals from the Harbor View encampment accepted a bed at the HSC, though city data reports 71 tents are still present at the encampment as of Friday.
However, the number of homeless individuals living at the Harbor View encampment who were willing to accept a bed at the HSC has declined since the end of November, according to city data.
According to a survey of 83 people at the encampment by city staff, the top reasons for refusing a bed at the shelter were loss of autonomy, transportation barriers, and fear of loss of belongings.
There have been 12 deaths in Portland’s homeless encampments in 2023, and calls for service in the Harbor View park area increased from 59 to 303 from 2022 to 2023.