Read Full Article here… www.wweek.com

Occupied vehicles line North Union Court in city-owned Delta Park. (Sam Gehrke) Way up in North Portland, not far from the Jubitz Truck Stop, sits a new Portland neighborhood whose homes you won’t find on any map. Along North Union Court, on a recent rainy day, dozens of decaying RVs, cars and campers lined the road, alongside tents that appeared to be floating in puddles. The scent of chocolate from a nearby bakery mixed with the smell of cigarette smoke, gasoline, urine and feces. Burn piles, discarded furniture, and orange caps from hypodermic syringes dotted the landscape. Traffic noise and roaring gas generators made conversation difficult. About 30 people call this swath of city-owned Delta Park home. Some sleep in tents, but most reside in vehicles ranging from subcompact cars to full-size RVs. This encampment is illegal, but city officials look the other way. On this Thursday, outside a vintage RV, a humming generator powered lights and a TV inside. The resident is a man who gave his name as Chris who says he was sober 11 years, then relapsed at the start of the pandemic. Meth is his drug of choice. Within months of relapsing, he lost his job, then his housing. Life is a challenge in an RV, Chris admits, but better than sleeping in a tent. “The wind just rips through these fucking tents,” he says. “It’s brutal.” Vehicles parked in Delta Park. (Sam Gehrke) In Portland, the number of people living in vehicles is growing. […]