EUGENE, Ore. — Illegal campers living at the site called Whoville have 30 more days before they’re forced out. The Eugene City Council decided Wednesday that they need to provide the 40 or 50 people living there a new place to go, before making them leave.
The one approved rest stop for homeless campers in Eugene has already reached its 15-person capacity. Another site was approved, but it hasn’t been opened.
Councilor Syrett put forward the motion, which passed with a vote of six to two.
“I would prefer to have a formal rest stop now, as an alternative to Whoville,” says Claire Syrett, Eugene City Councilor, Ward 7. “But, I also want to be flexible to work with the City Manager towards that goal, and not rush to set up something else that ends up causing more problems for the city in the long run.”
The motion asks the City Manager to return to the council with a set of recommendations for additional rest stops, or other alternatives, to help house those living at the site.
“Whoville will close,” says Chris Pryor, Eugene City Councilor, Ward 8. “The question is not, whether or not it will close. It has to close. It was a unilateral action on a piece of property that we did not designate. It doesn’t reflect partnership,” said Pryor.
Councilor Clark did not support the motion, saying more rest stops are not the solution.
Councilor Poling also voted no, saying the city cannot deal with this issue on its own, and needs help from the county or state.