EUGENE, Ore. — Some local homeless campers were on the move Tuesday, after police temporarily closed the old federal building plaza.
At the Broadway and Hilyard site, the only remains of the homeless camp that was there for months is some garbage and a pile of wooden crates.
Homeless campers have been at this campsite since last summer and are hoping to return once this temporary closure is over.
“Our tents, our sleeping gear, that kind of thing, and then whatever was left behind such as garbage, the pallets that we were sleeping on. We’re stacking everything up. We’re gathering the garbage. We’re doing our best to not leave a negative impression on the city,” said homeless camper Elijah Davis.
A sign hangs next to the plaza saying the area is closed for a week for scheduled maintenance, but campers are surprised by this temporary closure.
“I’m not sure if we have permission to come back, but I know we have a desire to come back,” Davis said.
Across town at the Broadway and Hilyard campsite it’s a very different scene. Campers aren’t going anywhere.
“We thought that they were going to have the police come today and they were going to have like you can leave but you can’t come back, kind of situation. But they didn’t, so we’re glad about that,” said Whoville camper Alexis Edmundson.
The city of Eugene says it’s working with these campers to find them a place to move to and will not be clearing people out of the site Tuesday
“There’s so much campsite there that it’s going to take too long to get it all out today,” Edmundson said.
And so as campers try to figure out where to move and wait to see what the city does at the Whoville site, they say despite having to relocate their protest will continue.
A group of Whoville supporters gathered at Free Speech Plaza Tuesday to try to meet with City Manager Jon Ruiz. So far, they have not gotten a meeting with Ruiz.