Sarah has lived in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood for more than 20 years. She admits that living near a shelter brings challenges, but that changed shortly before COVID-19 as the Opioid crisis grew, and crimes became more violent and directly impacted her property.
She recounted stories of times before drug use became prevalent, and encounters were generally easier. “I remember finding a group of men from the shelter drinking beer in my yard. I let them know it was private property and they moved on and apologized. Today, drug use has changed that interaction, it’s defiance and carelessness for my property,” Sarah said.
While Enough is Enough shared shocking videos captured in the Bayside neighborhood, there are dozens of additional incidents the team felt it couldn’t share because of the activity including public nudity, violence, sexual activity, and property damage.
“We’ve seen women being trafficked, openly using and dealing drugs. Nobody seems to care what is going on down here. I’ve had times when I’ve been fearful” Sarah explained.
In response to the increased criminal activity, Sarah installed security systems to protect her family and her personal property. She captured on video active drug dealing during the day in the open in front of her neighbor’s house, and use of heroin in plain sight.
“The frustrating thing is that it seems a very small thing to the community and the courts, and it’s not small at all, it’s overwhelming. People say if you don’t like it move or what do you expect you live near a shelter, as if it’s not okay to want two things at once…for people to get help and for your property, your house, and businesses to be protected,” Sarah stated.
Sarah described the activity that has moved from the shelter to the encampments as she toured a site that moved alongside a commercial property with the team from Enough is Enough.
“People are thinking about solutions together, I think it will take some time, but that time has come,” Sarah explained.