National News

Hawthorne business owners, neighbors fed up with 'aggressive' homeless group

Posted July 11, 2017 12:54 p.m. EDT

— Business owners and people living near Hawthorne Boulevard said they're fed up with what they consider an aggressive homeless population.

"I mean I wouldn't want to walk over the street to over here," said owner of CD Game Exchange, Joe Ring.

Ring is talking about some of the homeless people along Hawthorne Boulevard, and specifically near his store at Southeast 36th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard.

Ring said he started noticing them gather at the corner a few years back.

"I mean they do everything you can imagine," said Ring.

Over the years, he said they've only grown by numbers and in hostility.

"There was a fight as I walked up here 30 minutes ago," said Ring.

Paul Fishman lives nearby and has his own stories.

"There's a lot of open drinking and drug use, public urination," said Fishman.

"People have been threatened, 'oh I'm going to kill you and I'm going to go kill your family,'" continued Fishman.

He said the fact that they appear to be homeless isn't what upsets the Hawthorne community.

"We don't care what their housing situation is or isn't, it doesn't matter, it's the behavior that we're seeing that's important," said Fishman.

Neighbors and business owners said Portland Police do actively patrol the area. FOX 12's camera even caught officers pull up and talk with the group Monday.

But for people who live and do business in the area, they said it's not quite enough.

"It definitely hurts business, there's no question about it," said Ring.

"This is worse than it's been in previous years," said Fishman.

Neighbors and business owners did make it clear not everyone who hangs out around the area is aggressive or violent.

They plan though to take the issue to City Council on Wednesday. They're hoping to work with the city to address the issue and hopefully find a solution.

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