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Portland set to clear another homeless encampment

State workers with the Maine Departments of Transportation and Public Safety clear an encampment that had formed at the corner of Deering Oaks Park and an I-295 off-ramp in Portland on Aug. 31, 2023.
Nicole Ogrysko
/
Maine Public
State workers with the Maine Departments of Transportation and Public Safety clear an encampment that had formed at the corner of Deering Oaks Park and an I-295 off-ramp in Portland on Aug. 31, 2023.

The city of Portland will clear another encampment of roughly 67 tents Wednesday morning.

Over the past few weeks, a crisis response team made up of city workers and social services agencies has been gathering information about unhoused residents living along the Fore River Parkway Trail, locating shelter beds and housing options and trying to match those spots with people willing to take them. Portland had set a Sept. 6 deadline of removing the encampment.

So far, 18 people living along the trail were placed in a shelter or other housing option, according to an update provided by Portland health officials to the city council.

But as of Tuesday afternoon, about 48 people are still living along the Trail, and that's the next encampment that city officials want to clear.

Social services agencies had asked for more time to work at the Fore River encampment, because they say navigating a limited pool of shelter and housing options for unhoused people is complex and time-consuming work.

But beginning Sept. 18, city officials say the crisis response team will target another encampment at the state-owned park-and-ride lot on Marginal Way for removal, using the same approach.