FAKE NEWS.
FAKE NEWS. City of Portland

The latest attempt by the public to self-police Portland's homeless population looks... eerily official.

Last night, a city crew discovered numerous orange signs posted to trees and poles near the intersection of SW Caruthers and 5th. The notices, stamped with an official City of Portland seal, threatened arrest to anyone who camps or loiters in that area. They referenced two city codes, one that bans camping in public right-of-ways and another that prohibits structures in public parks.

But these signs didn't come from the city.

The city's Office of Management and Finance (OMF), which oversees homeless camp notices, did not authorize these signs and has no idea who might be behind them.

When the city choses to enforce the two codes mentioned on the flyers, it posts its own sign that gives the public at least 48 hours' notice (and a number to call for more information) before swooping in to clean up the site. Here's the city's official posting.

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This isn't the first time someone's tried to duplicate the city's illegal campsite notice, but it's certainly the most skillful attempt.

"These are by far the most sophisticated ones that we’ve seen," said Heather Hafer, OMF spokesperson, in an email to the Mercury. "These are the first flyers we’ve seen that actually featured the city seal on them, and weren’t photocopied and/or had handwritten notes on them."

Based on the city's One Point of Contact system, which tracks recently reported homeless camps, at least three people reported a camp existing at this exact spot in the past week.