SPECIAL REPORT: Parks department deals with Eugene homeless camps

Eugene park staff believe more needs to be done when it comes to clearing out homeless camps in the city.

Posted: Nov 17, 2017 5:27 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 12:07 PM

EUGENE, Ore. - Maintaining city parks is part of the job description of the Eugene Parks Department but, officials said cleaning up illegal transient campsites is an endless job.

Employees tell KEZI they clean up more than 100 camps every month under bridges and in parks around the city.

City staff gives illegal campers at least 24 hours notice before they go in to clean up the site.

Ryan Turner has been with the city for more than 10 years and he said the problem is only getting worse.

He said he believes there needs to be consistent follow through when sites are cleared out.

"I think that there's a lot of people that just move from one bridge to the other and they end up costing the city a lot of money because we clean up every camp that they occupy," said Turner. "If they continue doing that, there's no end to the cost."

Last year, more than a quarter of a million dollars was spent cleaning up illegal campsites.

Staff said they would like to see some of that money go towards improving city parks.

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