EUGENE, Ore. -- The City of Eugene gave notice to a homeless camp near the Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge that they have 24 hours to move their belongings before the city begins cleaning up the area.
Stop Death in the Streets, a homeless activist group in Eugene, said 120 people are living at the camp. Ethan Klein, a volunteer of the Eugene Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, says he has been helping people move from the location. He said only a small fraction of the unhoused choose to live that lifestyle. Everyone else is on the streets because of extraneous circumstances.
"They're not there because they want to be there or they don't want to follow any specific housing rules or guidelines at this facility or that facility," Klein said. "They're there because of circumstances in their lives that are out of their control."
He also said it's dangerous moving people around during a pandemic. The CDC did advise those who are unhoused to stay in place due to the risk of community spread.
Klein also said there's a risk for unhoused women too. He said it's hard for many of them to find a safe place to sleep because of threats of sexual assault and violence.
This is the second time the city placed a notice for the unhoused to move from Washington-Jefferson Street Bridge. Back in June of this year, the city cleared out a camp in the same spot. The notice does give people living in the camp a 10-day buffer window to move their belongings before the city fully clears out the area.
KEZI did reach out to the city for comment, but they did not get back because the request was sent after business hours.