A clean camp is a cleaner Portland
Clean Camp PDX is a neighborhood-based project providing regular garbage collection service for homeless camps. Although the City of Portland and Multnomah County fund several other agencies to clean up some camps, they are overwhelmed by the need. Clean Camp PDX is helping fill that need and making neighborhood a little more attractive until appropriate shelter for homeless can be provided.
We recently received a grant from Metro, Portland’s regional government, to provide expanded garbage and clean up services for the homeless. We are expanding the number of camps we now serve from eight to significantly more within the next year. And we will test run a pilot program to help homeless residents generate income and clean up Portland streets in cooperation with specific neighborhoods. More information on this program will follow in early 2023.
We started Clean Camp PDX in July 2021 with three pilot locations. The initial aim was to see if homeless campers would voluntarily keep their area clean if they had some place to put their trash. No surprise, our supported residents proved they would clean up their sites if provided weekly garbage service. So, in the fall of 2021 we started expanding Clean Camp to more sites.
- Residents living in the longer-term camps have more motivation than camps that are newly formed or about to be “swept” (shut down) to cleanup.
- It helps to have a resident camper who will motivate others in the camp to keep the area clean.
- Starting with a relatively clean camp provides more motivation to residents to keep the area clean than one that has been accumulating debris for months. This means coordinating with city agencies, SOLVE and other nonprofits to have their crews remove the piles of trash, ideally before garbage serviced is placed.
- Our biggest challenge has been to witness our serviced camps SWEPT by the City of Portland. Five camps have been swept since March 2022. These sweeps have been arbitrary, very disruptive to camp residents, and counterproductive to improving the lives of homeless. The City sweeps camps but consistently provides no viable new location where campers can move to “sanctioned camp sites”. Very Unfortunate!
- We continue to learn more about what works and what does not. We welcome suggestions/insights you have on the challenge!!
A BIG contribution to our work is the support we receive from Republic Services of Portland. Republic was impressed with the results of our initial pilot program leading their corporate office in Phoenix to award us a grant to expand our program to more camps.
We are successful, in part, because Republic employees in Portland, including their regional managers, dispatchers and truck drivers believe in the contribution we are making to help improve the lives of folks living on Portland streets!.
If you or your organization wants to propose a specific location for new camp garbage service, please contact us with details. We welcome your tax-exempt contribution to Clean Camp PDX.
Our partners are: Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods , serving as fiscal agent, Republic Services and Metro.
Click the images to enlarge
Growing Clean Camp PDX means we need to go beyond a volunteer effort and hire a coordinator to identify and set up new locations; coordinate with City and County agencies; and to lead fundraising efforts from individuals, neighborhoods, businesses and corporate sponsorships.
Your donation can help Clean Camp PDX grow.
Thanks to our partnership with NE Coalition of Neighborhoods your contribution is tax deductible. We’re working on online donation portal, but for now your check is appreciated.
Please make checks payable to Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and indicate in the memo field that it’s for Clean Camp PDX.
Mail the check to:
4815 NE 7th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211-3939
You will receive a receipt for your donation with tax ID number, etc.
About Clean Camp PDX
Clean Camp PDX is funded by donations and operated with all volunteer coordination. We are currently seeking sponsors to operate additional locations as part of the 3 month pilot phase. You can help us clean up Portland by sponsoring a location with yourtax exempt charitable contribution to Clean Camp PDX.
Contact us for details at: info@CleanCampPDX.org
See the latest information at: CleanCampPDX.org
Clean Camp PDX is sponsored by the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN), a registered Oregon 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, in cooperation with local Portland volunteers and neighborhood associations