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on sleeping on the streets of portland, part 1 (color)

The two story Fremont Bridge in Portland is large, really big. It is a major conduit that crosses the Willamette River, and cars and trucks use it to head toward Washington state to the north and to travel south on I5 toward the California border some 250-300 miles away.

Underneath and adjacent to the bridge are stores and restaurants and schools and parking lots and . . . homeless camps.

One does not fully appreciate its size until standing underneath and looking up, and from certain vantage points, one can see the trucks and cars, the size of toys, rush by.

And underneath it all are many homeless camps.

The Fremont Bridge and the freeway cut through and over the more wealthy sections of Portland—the northwest areas of the Pearl, Nob Hill, the Alphabet District, Slabtown.

In those neighborhoods, one of which I call home, the residents are comfortable. They have money, generally. Those neighborhoods have many residents on the streets as well. That is where they sleep. And eat. They use the Portland Loo toilets when they can.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

I have criss-crossed the streets and walked in and around the pillars that support the Fremont Bridge. I have seen the camps and watched them grow and die and sometimes be taken down and swept away by the city.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Signs are in place that say campers will be fined for illegal, over night stays. After an area is cleared, however; and despite the signs and the warnings of retribution, the campers return and gradually set up camp which eventually in some places grows to a small community.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Tents are scattered throughout NW Portland in all the quarters, the Pearl, Nob Hill, the Alphabet District, Slabtown. Not every one living on the streets finds shelter under the Fremont.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Portland has street sleepers everywhere, all over, not just in NW Portland, where I sleep in my apartment.

To be continued . . . on sleeping on the streets of portland, part 2 (b & w).

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