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Eugene businesses react as alternate homeless camp fills up

Officials with Lane County said the new alternate homeless camp is full, with more than 100 people staying there.

Posted: Oct 30, 2018 6:45 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:44 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Businesses by the new alternate homeless camp near Highway 99 and Roosevelt Boulevard have mixed feelings about having it so close to their businesses.

Over the weekend Lane County opened the new location because they believed it would be a safer and healthier location than the Butterfly Lot off of 8th Avenue and Oak Street, where many were staying before.

The new site has restrooms, water, a handwashing station and a trash removal service.

KEZI 9 News spoke to one business owner nearby who didn't want to be identified but said he is feeling uneasy having the camp so close to his business.

"My concerns are that we're going to have more crime in the area, more problems in the area, more trouble in the area and we have a huge population of mentally handicapped people that need to be helped in a different fashion than putting them out on the street."

KEZI also spoke with Levi Sager, a budtender at Green Health Eugene, which is located near the camp.

He said he's happy the county put the new camp there.

"It's more people closer to us and as a business, that's what we want, we want people closer to us,” Sager said. “If that's people in need, if that's just regular folks, middle class folks, it doesn't really matter. It's all people that we supply a service to -- anybody."

Officials with Lane County said the alternate homeless camp is full, with more than 100 people staying there.

County officials want to remind people this camp is temporary. They plan to have it there only a month or two while they try to get campers connected to the services they need.

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