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City To Clear Homeless Campers

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EUGENE, Ore. — The city of Eugene will start clearing out the homeless camp at the corner of Broadway and Hilyard starting Tuesday, but campers say they want more time.  Those who’ve been camping at the site said they’re not happy with the way the city’s eliminating their camp. But, the city of Eugene said the site is no longer open for public use.

These campers come from all different backgrounds. “I’ve lived in places, I’ve lived on the streets, I’ve been in places, I’ve been on the streets. I’ve been back and forth in and out of the city, state,” said Michael Sandlin, Whoville camper.

“I’m the youngest of everyone, I’m sixteen,” said Alexis Edmundson, Whoville camper.

Regardless of where they came from, the group said it’s formed an unlikely bond since setting up camp at the site they call Whoville. “Pretty much all they’ve had and for some for a very long time. A sense of belongingness and security, just some basic security that they’re losing,” said Jennifer Frenzer, Whoville supporter.

Now the 50 or so campers are getting ready to relocate, but they don’t know where they’ll go. The city of Eugene said it’ll soon open a third homeless rest stop on Leo Harris Parkway near the Science Factor and Autzen Stadium. But campers said that’s just enough.

“We don’t have room for 35 to 40 more people. We only have 15 approved,” said Michael Sandlin, Whoville camper.

So Whoville campers and homeless advocates gathered at Free Speech plaza Monday to send a message to the City Manager’s Office.

“The scenario has changed. Though anticipation of having some sort of process and it to be a little more methodical and to be helping people locate a place and being able to move to a place is not the process that’s being used now,” said Frenzer.

Whoville said once the city begins clearing out campers Tuesday, there’s no plan for where they’ll go.

“There’s other people that need to go besides back in the streets, in the corners, in the trespasses. They don’t want to be out there,” said Sandlin.

No one from the city of Eugene was immediately available to comment on the issue, but the city issued a statement saying these campers can go to the Eugene Mission or the expanded St. Vincent DePaul car camping program.

9 comments

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  1. quasimodo says:

    here is a novel idea get a dang job and then you have a choice and renters laws to protect you

    1. jeff tressman says:

      City hall has no business being the nice guy infinite times.
      Kick the campers out for good. Now!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. Sejanus says:

        Must be hard for you two who’ve never had a hard time in your life. You don’t know anything about those people, nor what they’ve been through. You sit high where your safe and feel entitled to give an opinion. Keep your mouths shut, you wouldn’t last a moment in the hard world.

  2. Greenhouse 9994 says:

    Hay every one,what the freak is the problem, Find a place for the unfortunate to live. Tell the city now! Every thing is mes up in the city thinking,Its up to you to vote or all the Eugenius to stand up against what is all right… The city is always going to take away money or use it wrongly. I can tell you right now,the people in city are using the money for there own self $$$$$$$$$. There not even helping there own property that is needed to prepare what was damaged. Dammit,there going reduce every thing down to there pocket book if we dont say any thing.!! Do something about it!!!

  3. Tank Commander says:

    I wonder if they will be returning all the stolen shopping cats I saw in the video. Looks like the taxpayers will be footing the clean up bill, including disposing of all those wood pallets. If they would keep the camp clean, I would have greater sympathy for them.

  4. Kate says:

    I just don’t get why a city such as Eugene (nationally known for being progressive and caring about people) would be having such a hard time figuring out how to care for the homeless population. Why not give them the old Rail yard out on the Expressway? If not there, then why not some large piece of ground where they can set up a real camp like Portland did for their homeless. Let those that live there make the rules and enforce them. Ask Portland…

  5. stephen says:

    I ask myself how is it that all of the comments posted that degrade these homeless folks are written by people with horrible spelling/grammar. I am not for or against cities spending taxpayers money on these kind of issues; I don’t know the ins and out of policy. What I am against is anyone who could and will watch a man/woman freeze and feel powerfully warm. Not a bleeding heart sap, just human with eyes and a heart. BTW , acronyms are supposed to have periods and the broken or lost are supposed to be found.

    1. Tracy says:

      I agree with Stephen’s sentiment here… “What I am against is anyone who could and will watch a man/woman freeze and feel powerfully warm. Not a bleeding heart sap, just human with eyes and a heart.”

      The Mission has a waiting list for women (when I last checked) and the car camping program has a loooooong waiting list.

      I am impressed with Whoville. I am so happy that these folks get to be together and have a safe(r) place and a dry (er) place to rest their minds, bodies and spirits! As my friend states… “squirrels get to live” … Let the people live.

  6. pat says:

    Move all these people to Kitty’s property if she feels she needs to take care of them.. It wouldn’t be so bad, but everywhere they have been camping, the city, state, or county , has to clean up after them. Take a drive East on Beltline from W.11th. That is a nice scenic drive that used to be nice, now it is full of homeless camps, full, or abandoned, and trash left behind. I have offered to help some of these people on the corners,that are dropped off each morning by a car. Most of them all smoke, and have a dog.. Smoking alone is not cheap by any means. They do not want clothes even if they are new and some of them don’t even want food. Money or drugs. In the past the city has always brought in dumpsters to clean up after them. I would wager a bet, if I camped on the steps of the courthouse, Federal Or city They would have me in jail to stay for trespassing. By days end, but then again I am a taxpaying working citizen.

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