The campsite has been home to around 60 people for the past four months. Now the city says camping will no longer be allowed there.
Campers woke up Thursday morning to the city hammering in new guidelines for the campsite.
“It’s moved it from a violation to a misdemeanor to be camping here,” said SLEEPS protester Ambrose Holtham-Keathley.
The city replaced the “camping prohibited signs” that have hung at the site for months with “no trespassing” signs, which campers are not happy about.
“I moved here to Whoville because I couldn’t afford a room for rent in Eugene anymore. They want too much money,” said SLEEPS protester Jacob Baird.
“This is definitely a community…I consider a lot of these people my family. We look out for each other. We take care of each other. We just try to keep each other safe,” said SLEEPS protester Aurora Richardson.
The city says it’s working to come up with a place for the 60 campers to go.
“We have been talking to them and working with social service agencies to find them other options. Our other hope is that a manager for a second legally approved site comes forward, so we have that as a resource for them as well,” said Mia Cariaga, City of Eugene.
But campers say that’s not good enough.
“What changed? What made it different? So what made it difficult to accept we’re here now. We’ve been here for four months,” Holtham-Keathley said. ” I will go to the county jail if it means that I have to stick up for my family here.”
“We’re not leaving. This is a protest, and we’re going to treat it as such,” Richardson said.
But the city is hopeful they’ll leave peacefully during the next 48 hours.
“We will not take any kind of action before January 19th. We’re asking that they voluntarily leave the site prior to that date,” Criaga said.
The city of Eugene says it hopes to find a volunteer to manage the homeless rest stop at the corner of Northwest Expressway and Chambers Street, the same area campers lived at last summer.