Homeless camper makes a last stand under Ferry Street Bridge

The man said every time the city moves him, he has to start his life over from scratch.

Posted: Jul 8, 2021 6:46 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- One man is making a last stand against efforts to sweep him under the rug.

Damien Farah is the last one living under the Ferry Street Bridge off East 6th Avenue. He said he became homeless a few years ago, and since then he’s lived in different parts of Eugene.

The man told KEZI 9 News that he’s been camping off East 6th Avenue for about eight months, but the city gave him until dusk Thursday to move his things.

“There are homeless people who are irresponsible and leave garbage everywhere, but that’s not all of us. We all get grouped together by a lot of people. We’re put in the same category. We’re not all like that,” he said.

Farah said every time the city moves him, he has to start his life over, losing his belongings. He said he appreciates those in the community that want to help him, but he said he feels as if the city is treating him like a criminal.

But what is the reason behind moving homeless campers from the spot? According to a spokesperson for the Public Works Department, the tents are so close to the Ferry Street Viaduct and safety takes priority. 

"I don't think it's a valid reason to kick us out myself," said Farah. 

Even if the city opens its planned safe sleep sites, he doesn't think he'll take advantage. 

"There's not any viable ones for me, or ones I feel comfortable going to. And most of them are full. It's hard to get the services. There's not enough services per people here, for homeless people here," said Farah. 

As far as where he'll be going next, he doesn't know. Farah says he won't let the city stop him from living his life. 

"I'm kind of a free-spirited person. I like to just do my own thing. I don't like to have curfews like I said and I kind of like doing my own thing. But they won't let you do that here without harrassing you though," he said. 

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