A planned sweep of the homeless encampment at Harbor View Park in Portland on Tuesday was postponed until Dec. 28. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Portland has delayed plans to clear the homeless encampment at Harbor View Park until next week.

The city was scheduled to clear the encampment on Tuesday morning, but after a 7-2 vote from the City Council on Monday night, staff decided to delay the sweep until Dec. 28.

The council’s resolution, sponsored by Anna Trevorrow, did not force the city to act, but city spokesperson Jessica Grondin said Tuesday that the city staff heard the council’s concerns and agreed to a delay.

She said the city “will continue intensive outreach efforts in collaboration with community partners” until Dec. 28. 

Trevorrow said Monday that she wanted to make it clear to the public that she, and others, opposed the sweeps.

“We as elected officials are responsible for taking policy stances and being accountable to our constituents and we have heard from our community,” she said.


Mayor Mark Dion and Regina Philips voted against the resolution. Dion pointed to the council’s vote last month in which a majority rejected a proposal to pause encampment sweeps until April. He urged councilors to vote with that recent decision in mind, implying they should support the precedent set by the former council.

He read an email from City Manager Danielle West, who was not at Monday’s meeting, saying she was willing to postpone the sweep.

April Fournier emphasized that the council consistently hears a myriad of perspectives about encampments, including from business owners and residents near encampments who are concerned about the camps being unsafe.

“I want to be mindful that as we’re talking about being responsible to our constituents we have a whole spectrum of constituents we have to be accountable to,” she said.

Jason Jarvis, who has been living at a homeless encampment at Harbor View Park in Portland, said he has been working and hopes to earn enough to move into a weekly-rate hotel soon. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer


On Tuesday morning, the encampment at Harbor View Park was in shambles. Monday’s powerful storm left tarps, tents and clothes scattered through the mud. At 8 a.m. people were wandering around looking for their things.


Seven, 24, and MJ, 22, who declined to give their last names, said they have been homeless in Portland for about eight months. Until Monday, they were camping at Harbor View, but ultimately accepted beds at the city shelter when the windstorm got bad. They came back to the encampment Tuesday morning to get their things.

“I don’t think the postponement makes much of a difference,” Seven said. “It’s chaos in any encampment right now, and it still will be in a week. If people didn’t want to go yesterday during the storm, they aren’t going to want to go in a week.”

Seven and MJ said there has been more theft and violence in the encampment over the last few weeks as temperatures have dropped. They said people were stealing tarps off other people’s tents during the storm on Monday. Seven said a fellow camper came after him with a machete recently.

Tuesday’s planned sweep of the homeless encampment at Harbor View Park in Portland has been postponed a week. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

“The scarcity mindset really screws people up bad,” MJ said. “When you don’t have enough food, when you’re freezing cold, when you aren’t sure you’ll make it … that drives people crazy.”

Jason Jarvis, 46, said he has been living in the Harbor View encampment on and off since April. He said he’s glad to have the extra time to figure out a plan.

“I mean, yeah, it’s delaying the inevitable, but at least we don’t have to rush, wake up today and wonder where they hell we’re going,” Jarvis said. “But they’re still going to do it regardless.”

In a statement Tuesday morning, Danielle Smaha, the communications director for Preble Street, said the nonprofit organization was grateful the city had decided to postpone the sweep.

“This gives us the time that is necessary to get people into shelter, housing and safety. We are also appreciative of the members of the clergy and the many concerned citizens who weighed in on the harmful impacts that this sweep would’ve had,” she wrote.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.