Homeless camp on Port of Lewiston property concern officials
LEWISTON, ID —
Homelessness is an ongoing issue here in the valley, and with no overnight shelters, many have turned to creating homeless camps for a place to sleep.
Now the Port of Lewiston is addressing the issue after they found a camp on their property and they’re worried about the safety of those staying there.
"Over the last couple of months, you know two are three months, we've known we've had an issue here,” said Doeringsfeld.
For the past few months, David Doeringsfeld, General Manager of the Port of Lewiston said homeless people have created a camp on their property.
"The amount of trash and debris up there, was much greater than we expected, and four to five tents, of people living up there at that time,” said Doeringsfeld.
Piles of trash litter this tree filled draw near the port.
"There are hazardous waste concerns right now,” said Doeringsfeld.
They’ve known about the issue for a while now, but just recently an incident created a whole new level of concern.
"Over the Fourth of July a fire came within about 100 yards of that draw,” said Doeringsfeld.
A brush fire broke out the evening of Independence Day, coming dangerously close to the camp.
Doeringsfeld said, "You look and see how close that fire came to that draw, you know, what if that happened at 10 o'clock at night. What if people were in the draw, that could have been very serious."
Doeringsfeld said they’ve been working with Lewiston Police to try to get the people camping there out of the area, not only for the benefit of the port but for their safety as well.
"It's just to a point especially after that fire, that we felt we really you know, need to take care of this,” said Doeringsfeld.
Doeringsfeld said they plan on excavating the area after it’s cleared, then taking the trees out so hopefully homeless people won’t be drawn to camp there again.