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Homeless campers forced to leave private property near Garfield Street

Brian Richardson with the city said there's nothing they can do about the mess left behind.

Posted: May 3, 2019 7:03 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:46 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Homeless campers who were living on a plot of land on Garfield Street in Eugene were forced to move on Friday morning, leaving massive amounts of trash in their wake.

Now it's up to the landowners to clean up, according to city officials.

Brian Richardson with the city of Eugene said the campers were breaking the law. He said the city can't clean up messes on private property, which means there's nothing the city can do about it.

RELATED: Eugene businesses claim homeless campers left behind tons of trash

"I don't know a lot about this specific camp, but I do know most of it was on private property. We work to ensure public rights of way are clear. Beyond that there's not much we can do," Richardson said.

He also said this camp isn't the city's only concern at the moment.

"At this point as well our resources are looking at other illegal camps too so we are making sure we have the resources to handle it," Richardson said.

Property owners said the camp appeared about six months ago. However, they said it was only six weeks ago that the trash reached a crisis point.

One camper said there were no problems at the site until recently when squatters from Highway 99 made their way to Garfield Street.

"As people from other homeless camps got the boot and they wandered through ... they didn't want to respect what we were doing or themselves in my opinion, and they just trashed the place," he said.

Now it's anybody's guess who will pay to clean it up.

Yesterday, a camper told KEZI 9 News that they were planning to clean up the mess that was left behind, but today massive amounts of trash were still left in the area.

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