KGW Feature: Cleaning Up the North Park Blocks

PORTLAND, Ore. — People who live and work near Portland’s North Park Blocks, north of Burnside Street, are relieved that a massive homeless problem has dwindled. Link to KGW story

Over the summer, men and women took over the park and created multiple problems.

Cardinal KGWMichelle Cardinal watched it develop from her window at work. Cardinal is the co-founder of R2C, a marketing business that sits across from one of the park blocks.

She’s not the sort of person who lets problems get the best of her.

When the issue of homelessness came to her door step, she knew it was time for action.

She took security pictures of people sleeping across the entrance of her company. She gathered up other pictures and stories of people being threatened and chased.

Some of the pictures show men and women putting needles in their arms. Two pictures show different sets of people having sex in public.

“We care deeply, not only about the homeless community,” said Cardinal. She also worries about the underlying causes of homelessness.

And she knew she had to speak out when others would not.

“There are a lot of people in this city afraid to speak about this issue. They don’t want to be labeled as heartless or anti-homeless and I would agree with that. And now, once we’ve started this dialogue, now more and more people are having this conversation,” she said.

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