PENDLETON, Oregon – City Manager Robb Corbett got his hands dirty when he helped workers from the parks department clean up a homeless camp and storage site on public property near the intersection of Southeast 10th and Frazer. When he looks back on that experience, the first thing that comes to mind is the human waste.
“They have to eat,” he said. “Their bodies generate waste and that has to go somewhere. There are literally human outhouses that are constructed in these areas.”
Corbett said he visited the property back in the spring and saw land with bike trails that had been constructed by neighborhood children. There has been a dramatic change in those few months.
“With this place being overrun by homelessness, any child that goes in there might inadvertently become exposed to all that human waste,” he said. “Then there are needles. Addicted people are discarding needles in that area. I think we picked up seven at that site.”
Corbett says the city does not have the means to solve the homeless problem, but is doing what it can to find a way to provide shelter.