The Coastal Packet: Portland closes Tent City

Friday, August 19

Portland closes Tent City

Press Herald

Residents of a Portland homeless encampment known as “Tent City” are packing up and trying to figure out their next move after police gave them until month’s end to vacate the property.

More than two dozen homeless individuals – including at least one family with a small child – have been tenting in a trash-strewn wooded grove behind a strip mall on Brighton Avenue, some for as long as 2½ years. But while most drivers on Route 25 and the Maine Turnpike are likely unaware of the sprawling encampment’s presence in the trees, Portland police said they have responded to an increasing number of incidents in Tent City in recent months, including incidents of domestic violence, arson and individuals with outstanding warrants. "We're not bothering anybody, so why are (police) bothering us?" asked Tricia Leavitt, 31, a New Hampshire native who is among the residents of Portland's "Tent City." Brighton Avenue on the outskirts of the city. She is one of many homeless campers who face eviction from the camp.

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