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About Homelessness

Homelessness Takes To The River

Faced with no place to live, some of Portland’s homeless men and women are taking a unique approach to survival — life on the river.  

KGW video and report

PORTLAND – Some of the city’s homeless have left the streets to sleep on the Willamette River in boats.

“It’s what you would see on skid row, but skid row has moved to the water,” said Lt. Bret Elliot of the Multnomah County Marine Patrol.

About 15 now bob along the East Bank Esplanade and the South Waterfront bank.

Authorities said they started appearing about two years ago, likely because of the economy.

“The numbers have tripled or quadrupled,” Elliot said, “They have arrived and have little intention or ability to go anywhere else.”

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