EUGENE, Ore. — The city of Eugene approved a motion to open the first homeless rest stop at Roosevelt and Garfield. But many homeless campers near downtown said this rest stop opening is causing problems for many homeless people in the area.
Tzedakah Bat Eliyah has been camping at the corner of Broadway and Hilyard for nearly two months along with around 40 other homeless campers. “I arrived here at the Whoville site in early October around the 4th or 5th. It had been established for about a week when I came along,” said Eliyah.
But their time at the site they call Whoville could soon be coming to an end. “Camping prohibited signs both went up the day before Thanksgiving,” said Eliyah.
These signs went up the same day the city of Eugene approved a motion to open the first homeless rest stop at the corner of Roosevelt and Garfield later in December. But Whoville campers said this site has a 15 person capacity and isn’t open to everyone.
“Doesn’t help anybody here. They want to use it for the marrieds and veterans and so I say to them well if that’s what they’re going to do and if the police do rouse us from here where do they expect all these people are going to go? They can expect downtown in the doorways again,” said Eliyah.
On top of potential eviction from their current campsite, SLEEPS protesters said they’re also battling the cold. While they could go to local warming centers, many don’t because they said they’d have to get rid of all of their property in exchange for a warm place to sleep.
“The unhoused have an ongoing problem. It’s not seasonal, it’s not always economical. A lot of it has to do with the standards required to get into housing. People are required to have two and three times the amount of income as the rent and these things are not always possible,” said Eliyah.