Homeless, Concrete Roofs and Damp Conditions

Yesterday, I was prowling about trying to drive/walk in to a point where my daughter and I had taken a shot of the Steel Bridge years ago for one of her school photography projects. Well the area has been fenced, chained, signed and generally blocked off. In part because of the marauding homeless and their borrowing ways. I encountered clusters of homeless camps along the way but didn’t intrude with my camera.

Looking SB

I drove in beneath bridge and freeway over passes toward an area where access was at one time readily available. But not anymore…….

Blocked Off SB

Most areas beneath freeway overpasses/spans are fenced off now to stop encampments. These areas afforded some comfort away from the persistent Portland rains and the very cold East winds of winter that blow through this area.

There were still a half dozen smaller enclaves of tarps, pallets, shopping carts and cardboard in the area. The campers attempt to set up near any structure that affords a windbreak, support, shelter. I suppose my lack of images of these homeless folks is only fitting…they go unseen to most of us every day. It isn’t that there aren’t shelters and food available for the ‘homeless’ in Portland.

I mean Portlandians fancy themselves as quite progressive and caring. Most of these enclaves are situated in close proximity to shelters and food resources. Regardless of the social service agencies and private resources and outreach, the  ‘homeless’ continue to move about the industrial areas setting up camps and leading their lives in solitude or at least amongst their own kind. I imagine this style of living dates way back in time along the Willamette River regardless of the economic conditions of the time.

Old Railing Burnside Bridge SB

On a more mundane level, I was able to photograph this old railing on the Burnside Bridge as I drove out of the area.

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