Homeless vex Camas merchants

first_imgCAMAS – Merchants in downtown Camas say they’ve noticed an increase in homelessness in the city throughout the last month, and they held a community meeting Thursday night to discuss the issue.Around 35 people crowded into the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce office to talk about their experiences and how to help. Some said they’ve had people they assume are homeless steal from their business or antagonize patrons; others wanted to know what services are available and how to direct people to them.“These are your neighbors,” Melissa Baker, director of Housing Solutions Center for the Council for the Homeless, said at the meeting. “They don’t want to steal showers. They want to fulfill basic needs.”Carrie Schulstad, executive director of the Downtown Camas Association, said the meeting was the first of its kind and expects there will be more.“What a future official group or task force will look like is yet to be determined, but from what we heard (Thursday), the need is there,” she said.last_img read more