Medford, Ore., — “I’ve lived in downtown for the last 10 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.”
This Medford resident lives downtown, he asked us not to show his face or give his name, because he says homeless in the area have been harassing him.
“I’ve had my dog almost attacked 3 times, I’ve had stuff thrown at me, verbally assaulted, and almost by assaulted by you know 3 or 4 of these people in the park.”
It’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t walk through Alba Park anymore, and doesn’t feel safe in his own home.
“What particular point do you say I am safe here in my home? You know, I’ve even entertained the thought of having to move.”
He owns a catering business downtown and says that’s been impacted as well.
“Property damage. We had a break in here last week, and that’s the 3rd one in a year.”
Medford Police, headquartered just feet from Alba Park, say they’re aware of the problems in the park, and are doing their best.
“We’re pretty active in our parks, we want the citizens of Medford to go and be able to enjoy our parks. And we’ve received complaints about the park.”
Lieutenant Justin Ivens says though the warming shelter downtown is helpful to the homeless, he thinks it’s also a root cause of the problem.
“I don’t want to put all the blame on the shelter for this happening, but there was definitely a correlation that we saw.”
With winter over, the shelter recently closed. That may change things downtown, but regardless, police say there’s only so much they can do.
“We can’t violate people’s civil rights. And people have the right, rich, poor, whatever they may be, to enjoy the parks and be in those parks.”