A Backyard Solution to Homelessness?

Sponberg's new community outpost.
Sponberg's new community outpost.

Portland, Oregon – Mayoral Candidate Jessie Sponberg thinks he may have created the prototype for the solution to Portland’s homeless disaster. He explains the tents and amenities setup in his backyard are not a new homeless camp, but rather a community outpost and safety center for those most in need. Sponberg acknowledges this is at best only a temporary fix, and currently it’s against the law to camp in someone’s backyard. He hopes city leaders will overturn that camping ban. KXL also spoke with neighbors who live nearby and got mixed reactions. KC across the street says its a great idea, and a very positive thing that’s going to benefit the community. Another neighbor says they’ve recently had items stolen out of their trailer and believe that homeless people did it. They also fear more crime and vandalism could happen. Sponberg announced his new site on Facebook today. Part of the statement explains why he’s doing it.

“3 years ago, the house my mother was renting went into foreclosure when the owner defaulted on the loan to Chase Bank and then disappeared. My mother moved out and rather than see another house in her neighborhood fill up with squatters and shopping carts, I took up residence and began building this model which we now have today. Housing justice and housing security is the biggest issue facing Portland and say what you will about my methods, we need more direct action and less political rhetoric. So here we are. A real solution.”

Reporter Jacob Dean contributed to this story.

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