People experiencing homelessness camp near Salem Parkway and Hyacinth Street Northeast on Oct. 17.

A community-wide survey of Salem residents found the majority of those contacted think the city is headed in the wrong direction. Researchers said the negativity can likely be traced to two key issues: homelessness and crime.

Seven out of 10 people said the city is on the wrong track, following a national trend of increased negativity and concerns over the future.

Homelessness has consistently headlined the list of city residents’ top concerns. Community concern over homelessness has steadily risen in the annual surveys. Most recently, 57% of people surveyed rated it as a top concern.

Concerns over crime saw a notable spike since last year.

“A new concern has now emerged, as 16% of Salem residents say they want leaders to address crime — up from 3% last year,” researchers noted in their report.

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