Breaking News
More () »

New encampments form in Portland after Bayside Trail encampment shutdown

About 40 people experiencing homelessness are tenting at the park-and-ride on Marginal Way in Portland.

PORTLAND, Maine — Less than one week after the city of Portland shut down a homeless encampment with roughly 80 tents along the Bayside Trail in Portland, new encampments are sprouting up across the city.

One encampment has been setup at the park and ride on Marginal Way near Diamond Street, with roughly 40 people living there.

"As you can see, we've started to pick up the trash," Bruce Cavallaro said. "Personally, I go around and pick up trash every day, and everybody is real keen on picking up the trash. But with the storm last night, we really got stuff hanging out everywhere. That's why it looks the way it does now."

Cavallaro said he has been experiencing homelessness in Greater Portland for about seven years. He said he had been staying the Bayside Trail encampment for about a month before it was closed, and he moved his things to the Marginal Way park and ride. He said his tent was ruined over the weekend, and many others were flooded because of the heavy rain.

"My tent was destroyed in the rain, so I had shorts and poncho on most of the night," Cavallaro said. "We're resilient. We're Mainers. We'll make it work."

The park-and-ride encampment is located on Maine Department of Transportation property. Maine DOT spokesperson Paul Merrill wrote to NEWS CENTER Maine in a statement:

"The Maine Department of Transportation is aware that some unhoused people are currently residing on state-owned property near I-295 in Portland. Given its proximity to the interstate, the Maine Department of Transportation, along with the Maine Department of Public Safety, is monitoring the encampment and will work with other agencies as needed to ensure the safety of the unhoused individuals and the traveling public," Merrill wrote.

On Monday morning, outreach workers with Milestone Recovery visited the encampment. Outreach worker Terri McGuire said the Bayside Trail encampment made it easier for other outreach workers to connect with unhoused individuals in one place, and since the encampments closure, it has been more challenging to connect with those currently experiencing homelessness.

"We have to go from place to place. There's still quite a few people we haven't located," McGuire said. "I know we're trying to talk to each other, all the different organizations, and keep each other informed as to who's seeing who, who's doing what. That's been a bit of a challenge." 

Individuals living at the park-and-ride encampment have said they're working to keep the area clean and prevent health and safety concerns from closing the camp. 

The city of Portland said it's also aware of the park-and-ride encampment. However, because it is on Maine DOT property, they do not have any additional information. 

The city is encouraging unhoused individuals who are unable to stay at a shelter because of capacity to tent in areas not near public roads or commonly used paths to avoid becoming an obstruction which could result in the sites removal. 

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

Before You Leave, Check This Out