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Portland residents say homeless people are breaking into their buildings

Some people in Portland’s West End say they're seeing an increase in homeless people breaking into their apartment buildings, not only to sleep, but also to use drugs. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Some people in Portland’s West End say they're seeing an increase in homeless people breaking into their apartment buildings, not only to sleep, but also to use drugs.

Over the past month, Portland police say they've received a handful of these calls. Community leaders in the West End say it came to their attention after residents began posting about it online.

The West End Neighborhood Association says they've heard these concerns before.

Homeless individuals are seeking shelter inside unlocked buildings and basements.

John, who asked we not use his last name, says he's seen this first hand.

"I lived in a building where that happened a fair amount,” John said. “So that doesn't surprise me at all. A lot of homeless people, they get very cold there in the winter time and they're looking for a place to sleep."

But he also says drug use goes hand in hand with these incidents.

"My experience is that I see a lot of needles, and I see beer cans," John said.

The neighborhood association says a police officer in the area's been a big help.

Residents know there's a larger issue behind the problems they see.

"People who have issues with addiction and what not, they always have a choice, they know where they can go for help if they so choose," John said.

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