I went for a walk on the trail yesterday, after the rain let up. I had not been on the trail in nearly a month. I was curious to see if the tent dwellers were still there. I have seen a lot of stories in the media lately about the people living in tents along the trail, but I wondered if anything had changed. It had.
There were more tents. I counted twelve tents in a quarter mile stretch of the trail. All several feet off the trail, many using an existing fence as a supporting structure.
Many looked permanent, complete with little walking paths. One tent had a small fence with a gate! But it looked cleaner than last time. It was like a little village. I saw several people walking amongst the tents. Someone was barbecuing. Nobody was walking on the trail, but me. I did see a couple of people on bikes.
I felt a little vulnerable, but no one bothered me.
I am curious what will happen in the summer. Last summer the trail was hopping with cyclists, runners and hikers. Will the presence of the tent dwellers reduce traffic on the trail? And what about the law?
Well apparently there has been a new law passed that does not allow law enforcement to embarrass individuals based on their homelessness. See this article: http://bikeportland.org/2016/01/14/camps-along-springwater-path-have-reached-boiling-point-172514
We do have a serious homeless problem in Portland. But it is not going to get better if we look the other way when laws are being broken. Here is an article about a home owner who had an encounter with one of the tent dwellers near the trail not far from where I walked today: http://portland.ml/se-portland-resident-feels-unsafe-after-confrontation-with-homeless-man/
I will continue to post on this subject. While I have compassion for people on both sides, this issue is hitting too close to home.
Now that I will have a bit more time on my hand, I am feeling the need to continue some of my former projects from this blog. I was really enjoying my hymn of the day and psalm of the day. I was also working through the Classic FM Hall of Fame while I stretched in the morning.
I like to finish what I start!
I finished my Beth Moore book, Breaking Free on Thursday. It was leant to me by my daughter. Otherwise, almost every words would have been underlined. I so loved this book! But I am going to hang on to it for a bit longer. There are study questions at the end I intend to answer.
Alas,I need to get vertical now if I want to make it to Saturday morning Mass.