Every time it sweeps a homeless camp, the city of Portland must catalog and store for 30 days the personal possessions it finds during the cleanup.
It’s not clear the city has consistently lived up to that obligation. WW reported this summer about a homeless man who discovered his belongings had been trashed by the city contractor who swept out his camp (“Tossed Aside,” WW, July 26, 2017).
WW then obtained via a public records request the catalog of camp items stored by the city during the past three years.
The list shows that in the month after WW wrote about the improper disposal of belongings, the city appeared to be more diligent about logging and storing such property, although a city spokeswoman denies it. “The storage procedure has not changed,” says Office of Management & Finance spokeswoman Jen Clodius.
After the story was published, Portland listed items stored from 21 camp sweeps—up from just eight sweeps in the previous month.
The list also gives a glimpse of the homes Portlanders created amid tents, sleeping bags and trash bags filled with clothes.
Pokémon cards
May 25, 2017
Sullivan’s Gulch, Northeast Portland
Yellow skateboard
June 6, 2016
Gateway Green bike park along I-205
White Playboy bunny purse
Feb. 16, 2017
Southeast 9th Avenue and Ash Street
Black piano
March 1, 2017
North Kerby Avenue
Circular saw
July 26, 2017
Springwater CorridorSkuut wooden kid’s bike
March 1, 2017
North Kerby Avenue
Orange bag with dress shirts and other clothes inside
March 1, 2017
North Kerby Avenue
Hewlett-Packard computer
July 28, 2017
Taken from an impounded Winnebago RVBinder full of Magic the Gathering cards
March 23, 2016
Northeast 7th Avenue and Flanders StreetThe Lost City of Z book
May 25, 2017
Sullivan’s Gulch, Northeast Portland
Ceramic bowl
June 20, 2016
Southeast 43rd Avenue and Powell Boulevard
Pioneer sound receiver
March 1, 2017
North Kerby Avenue