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County to Address SLEEPS Concerns

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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.

8 comments

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  1. Dave says:

    How about addressing the fact the triad of right-wing commissioners now in control of county government do NOT represent the majority of Lane Co. citizens?

    As Thomas Jefferson said “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another..”.

    Now is the time to dissolve this Lane County Commission who take their marching orders from the likes of Rush Limbaugh as they seek to foment class warfare against their own citizenry.

    OK, you want a political fight with the proud liberals and left-wingers of Lane County? I for one say: bring it!

  2. Anand E. Holtham-Keathley says:

    People have a human right to sleep. Period. I can’t help but think what it was like before the Europeans showed up and started dividing the land into mine, mine, mine and mine. And I’m as bad as any. I own property and share it a lot. But in the end I can still tell people to leave. Still I wonder…. I greatly support many areas for houseless people to safely sleep. Public property seems an obvious solution. Perhaps somewhere close to already existing public restrooms?

    1. Michael Adams says:

      That is a great idea and we are working closely with others to push the idea through.

  3. Michael Gilbert says:

    There are takers in the world, and there are givers. These folks are takers from the word go. We tax payers in Eugene are basically being told by these takers, that if we don’t pony up what they want, they will continue to pollute our community. They will continue with this behavior and blame us for it no less.

    Look, if I want to give charitably, then I’ll give, and be happy to do so for those truly in need. However, I refuse to be extorted by the likes of these takers. I, for one, will support any and all enforcement efforts to deal with these folks that are currently putting our public welfare at risk with their unsanitary behavior. There are laws designed to protect the general public, and these folks should be required to abide by them or suffer the consequences. I’m all about free speech, but there is a responsible way to go about it. Get the permits if required. Provide your own facilities. Take up collections if need be from those willing to donate (I’m not one of them for this “cause”) Then by all means speak your mind. I would respect you more if you demonstrate some responsibility. Until then, I don’t hear you, and despise you and what you represent, and will stand against you if you insist on extorting our community this way.

    1. Michael Adams says:

      In what way are we extorting “your” community? This is our community as well. We are still very much apart of Eugene, and are only looking for a solution that will work for the citizens of Eugene, whether they be homeless or housed.
      The city of Eugene has had 30 years since the task-force was sent out in 1983 to determine a solution to what was then referred to as vagrancy. Vagrancy as of 30 years ago, meant that someone was looting stores, businesses, etc, and getting into trouble. I am by no means implying that there is nobody doing that, but SLEEPS is about getting a place for those of us that are homeless to sleep safe and legally.
      Do you honestly expect us to walk 24/7/365?

  4. Ex Democrat says:

    You called it. Change within our laws is what creates a civil society. I had to get permits to organize a protest in college. If I want to build a home I need a permit. We have zoning. But maybe only people with checkbooks have to live by the laws in Eugene under this city council and police chief.

    I for one will be at the sept 4th county council meeting to clap for the county councilors when they vote to clean out the so called protesters who are demanding our county land. Very few of the so called protesters carries a sign and walks a picket line. They sit all day long. I guess they have never seen a real protest where everyone strolls holding a sign. Or, is just too much work?

    As a life long democrat, and I will never vote democrat for local government again. We need adults who can say no to these bratty demanding babies.

    1. Michael Adams says:

      “Change within our laws is what creates a civil society.” Well said! That is exactly what we are working to accomplish here. However, there are some city officials that would rather pull stunts, such as releasing a photograph of someone defecating in public, to try and shut us down instead of dealing with the issue at hand. While this is happening, it is fairly obvious that the county and the city would rather sit on their duffs and do nothing.
      Therefore the protest of the Criminalization of Homeless People and their children, will go on until a solution is found to satisfy both parties.

      1. Charles Wical says:

        If “the county and the city would rather sit on their duffs and do nothing,” who would they be emulating? (This is not to disparage those who would rather be working, and are physically and mentally able to do so).

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