Camp 99 clearing out as new 'dawn-to-dawn' site opens

The county is encouraging campers to move to a "dawn to dawn" site on Highway 99 ran by St. Vincent de Paul.

Posted: Jan 14, 2019 6:59 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 12:33 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The homeless camp on Highway 99 is set to be cleared by the end of the week, according to Lane County officials.

While campers have options on sites they can go to, the county is encouraging them to move to a new "dawn-to-dawn" site on Highway 99, which is being run by St. Vincent de Paul.

Devon Ashbridge, a spokesperson for Lane County, said about 40 campers have signed up to move to that site since Friday. She said more campers started to make the move to the site on Monday.

RELATED: City council approves 'dawn-to-dawn' campsites on Highway 99

County officials and a community volunteer group were out Monday afternoon helping people move their belongings and determine where to go.

“It's our goal that we're able to transition people in a way that's respectful and dignified,” Ashbridge said. “We have several community advocates and volunteers here working with individuals to help them pack if they aren't transitioning to camp 99 but made other arrangements such as returning to family things like that.”

As for Camp 99, Ashbridge said the toilets and other facilities from the camp will be gone by the end of the week, and they will be off limits to campers.

"There is potential down the road to look at this as another emergency location for camping needs, but it would need to be something on a much much smaller scale and something with a lot more structure to it to ensure it could be successful and safe over a period of time," Ashbridge said.

She said Camp 99 had too many people in a small space and said there were safety and health concerns. Once they can help everyone make the transition, the old site will be cleaned.

At the new dawn-to-dawn camp, drugs and alcohol are not allowed on site. However, Ashbridge said they won't turn anyone away who's been using drugs or alcohol off the property. 

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