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Businesses take action against homeless camp in downtown Eugene

Those in the area said campers have been leaving trash, needles and even feces behind.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 6:54 PM
Updated: Oct 16, 2019 12:14 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – Many businesses and residents say they are frustrated after a homeless camp moved to West 11th Avenue and Lawrence Street in downtown Eugene.

"I think a lot of people have felt frustrated,” said Sarah Morris, who works at Wyatt’s Tire Co.

Those in the area said campers have been leaving trash, needles and even feces behind.

Business owners also said it has cost them money. The owner of the Market, located on the corner of 11th Avenue and Lawrence Street, said in September his profits were down 47% compared to September 2018 because of people camping in front of the store.

Now, businesses are taking action.

“So we have had to get a permit on our concrete easement to put up some landscaping,” Morris said.

Wyatt’s Tire Co. recently put out tires with flower beds inside outside of their store.

City officials said people can file a permit to make improvements to a right-of-way. They said this allows officials to vacate people from the public space so the improvement can be made.

Eugene police said there is only so much they can do in these situations.

“We are just as much frustrated with it as the people who have to live with it in front of their business,” said Lt. Carolyn Mason. “We have to come talk to these people and explain the law and tell them we can't do anything to help you because the law says a-b-c.”

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