EUGENE, Ore. — Lane County Commissioners are putting together a plan to address safety and sanitation concerns after human feces were discovered near the SLEEPS camp downtown.
Protesters are still camped out in the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza and say they have no plans to leave the area any time soon. In fact, they are in discussions with the county to expand their moved to two new sites—one near Skinner Butte Park and one near the Lane County Fairgrounds. Talks are currently in the works to discuss both.
“We’re talking with the county right now to see what solution will work best,” says SLEEPS protester Tin Man. “Yesterday we had a meeting with Mr. Shusler from the Public Works Department. He said a permit would make this thing easier for them.”
The fairgrounds site is near a residential area. Protesters say they plan to keep these new camps small so that they can easily manage sanitation and garbage issues. Some area residents have said they don’t mind the presence of the campers.
“As long as they do not cause any damage or promote any hostility to me or my family, then I really don’t mind if someone is camping in the field across the way,” says neighborhood resident Michael Erickson.
In addition to sanitation issues at the downtown site, there are also safety concerns for people who pass through the plaza to access the county building. Commissioners say they will meet on September 10 to address all of these points. In the meantime, the protesters tell KEZI that they will camp out in the plaza until the city and county make new laws opening up areas for the homeless to sleep.