Many homeless camps removed from near Fort Vancouver High School


School administrator: ‘Don’t know who it was, but thank them for me’

A lot has changed this week just off the campus of Fort Vancouver High School.

Days after Vancouver Public Schools officials were told that the city would not be moving homeless camps that have been built just feet from campus grounds, most of the camps, indeed, were removed Thursday.

Here is a photo taken last week showing a homeless camp just on the city side of a fence around the campus of Fort Vancouver High School. Photo by Paul Valencia
Here is a photo taken last week showing a homeless camp just on the city side of a fence around the campus of Fort Vancouver High School. Photo by Paul Valencia
This photo, taken Friday morning, shows the homeless camp gone. The city had said earlier in the week that it would not be moving the camps outside of Fort Vancouver High School. But most of the camps were removed Thursday. Photo by Paul Valencia
This photo, taken Friday morning, shows the homeless camp gone. The city had said earlier in the week that it would not be moving the camps outside of Fort Vancouver High School. But most of the camps were removed Thursday. Photo by Paul Valencia

“I don’t know who it was, but thank them for me,” said James Ensley, the athletic director at Fort Vancouver.

Ensley and other Fort Vancouver administrators, as well as district administrators, had no idea the camps were being removed until a phone call alerted them to the fact it was happening on Thursday.

Sure enough, Ensley and others made their way out past the spring sports athletic facilities on the far, back end of the campus property to see the end of the day’s clean-up operation.

On Friday morning, a couple of vehicles remained, but several other vehicles had been moved, a large campsite with tent and tarps was removed, and most of the parking lot that is used by Alcoa Little League was empty.

A photo taken last week of a parking lot on city property, used for Alcoa Little League and Fort Vancouver High School athletics, filled with campers and tarps and other items associated with homeless camps. Photo by Paul Valencia
A photo taken last week of a parking lot on city property, used for Alcoa Little League and Fort Vancouver High School athletics, filled with campers and tarps and other items associated with homeless camps. Photo by Paul Valencia
This photo, taken Friday morning, shows that only a couple vehicles remain in the parking lot. Many of the homeless camps outside Fort Vancouver High School were removed on Thursday. Photo by Paul Valencia
This photo, taken Friday morning, shows that only a couple vehicles remain in the parking lot. Many of the homeless camps outside Fort Vancouver High School were removed on Thursday. Photo by Paul Valencia

On Monday, Clark County Today posted a story that featured interviews with school officials, the superintendent of Vancouver Public Schools, the deputy city manager, as well as parents and athletes at Fort Vancouver. Parents and athletes wondered if homeless camps would ever be permitted outside more affluent schools.

School resource officers were sweeping the fields daily, finding used needles and biohazards. The campsites themselves were off school grounds, but garbage was discarded on school grounds. 

The official stance of the city, at least on Monday, was that it could not move the campsites. Bart Hansen, a city council member, did say at the time, however, that the city was still working on a solution.

By Thursday, a bulldozer and other equipment was used to discard garbage, RVs, and other materials related to the camps.

Attempts to contact city officials were not successful by the time of this report Friday.

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Jen
Jen
3 months ago

The solution is to keep tearing them down or relocate them to somewhere like Prineville or Madras. Let them hang out in the dessert.

Theresa Garcia
Theresa Garcia
3 months ago
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Last edited 3 months ago by Theresa Garcia
sdole1
sdole1
3 months ago

Certain areas of the city should be off limits to these encampments, and right outside a high school is one of them. I applaud the removal.

kenny
kenny
3 months ago

I was living in Portland and not only did they also refuse to move the drug addict’s camps and motorhomes from our street, but they brought them an outhouse and put it on the corner across from our house. The damage and garbage left behind is a constant source of frustration. You can see in these pictures the damage and garbage after “clean up”.

Dismal Nitch
Dismal Nitch
3 months ago

Clark County Today, why not interview some of the unhoused as well?

christodamas
christodamas
3 months ago

That this is newsworthy speaks volumes. Allowing a homeless camp to abut a school is unconscionable.

We have become an unserious country, led by unserious people. Regional “leaders” have no real plan to put a stop to this. Only variations on the progressive policies we have seen fail all up and down the west coast for decades.

Expect more of the same until we start having tough honest discussions about…oh who am I kidding. That is not going to happen. This will simply get worse. Millions will be transferred from the taxpayer to service providers and it will make no difference, because we can’t hold a few thousand bad actors, drug addicts and mentally ill to account regionally. But hey, in the meantime, maybe we can form a committee to decolonize our regional libraries or some other such nonsense while the city falls apart.

janice whitehead
janice whitehead
3 months ago

Medvigy & County would have cleaned it up as per his calling bs on Hanson at the homeless meeting.