The Strip is gone…

The "Strip," a stretch of North Lombard Street in St. Johns where approximately 20 homeless people lived in a dozen RVs, is gone. In July, WW explored the location, a favorite dumping ground for abandoning RVs and a makeshift community for people living on the streets.

Only a converted school bus is still there—its disabled owner has invoked the Americans With Disabilities Act to fend off the city. It's a strategy that disabled homeless people living in RVs in other cities are using.

Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman Dylan Rivera says one or two of the RVs from the Strip moved, and the rest were towed to a police impound lot. PBOT and police are working with the sole remaining occupant, Rivera says, to find "other suitable locations."

…but there's a new "hot spot" in Lents.

While the city's new Community Caretaking tow program has gotten many of the most dilapidated RVs off city streets, Lents neighborhood activist Jennifer Young says new RV "hot spots" keep popping up—like the one on a hillside near Interstate 205.

Debbie Saylor and her partner Steve's Winnebago was one of five parked there Sunday, but the retirees and their RV don't fit "zombie" stereotypes. In May, three months after the city passed a rule mandating landlords pay moving costs in some evictions, Saylor and Steve received $3,000 from their landlord after a "no-cause" eviction from their two-bedroom apartment along Southeast 82nd Avenue. (Steve declined to give a last name.)

After looking for housing and finding only "scammers" and move-in costs around $4,000, they bought a 1988 Superchief and moved their belongings into two storage units. The pair share a monthly income of $1,500 that will jump to over $3,000 after Steve's pension begins. They plan to head to the coast and seek a trailer park that takes older RVs.

MOVING ON: Debbie Saylor is parking a Winnebago on the street until she can find an RV park on the Oregon Coast. (Daniel Stindt)
MOVING ON: Debbie Saylor is parking a Winnebago on the street until she can find an RV park on the Oregon Coast. (Daniel Stindt)