EUGENE, Ore. — The Eugene City Council has narrowed down their choices for permanent homeless camp site to two, and one could be running in a few weeks.
Those who would be living at the sites say they aren’t happy with the locations the city has chosen.
A local man says he has some advice for those who will soon be calling those living at the homeless rest stops their neighbors. This all stems from an increase in human waste and trash found on the property where the old Carl’s Jr. restaurant was on Broadway and Hilyard, which he owns. It’s kitty-corner from Whoville.
Mark Giustina talked about his problems in front of the city council Monday night. He was trying to convince them from choosing the Broadway/Hilyard site as part of the pilot program.
Over the last few weeks he says people have been using the exterior stairs leading to the basement of his building as a restroom. He wouldn’t directly connect this waste to those from the Whoville camp, only saying since that camp opened he’s noticed an increase in trash.
He told the city council Monday night that there were homeless people on his property who claimed they weren’t allowed to use Whoville’s facilities, including the bathroom, and then came across the street to his property. That’s one of his biggest concerns about the new rest stops–those in excess of the 15-person limit.
When KEZI 9 News asked if he had any advice for the people who live and work near the soon-to-open camps, he said, “Stay positive, stay polite, stay friendly. If they end up on your property, they’re not, for the most part, they’re not trying to do any damage.”
As for his site, Giustina says he plans to fence off the two stairwells that surround his building as he works to find a new tenant.
He did say he recognizes the homeless issue in this town. He just thinks these new rest stops just aren’t enough. He feels there needs to be a larger location or service for the homeless to utilize, not just temporary camps.