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Homeless camp on Chambers Street cleared out in Eugene

Camping in city limits is illegal, but at last check no citations or arrests have been made in connection with the camp being cleared out.

Posted: Sep 14, 2018 6:35 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:46 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A homeless camp on Chambers Street between 2nd and 5th avenues has been cleared out after Eugene Public Works gave the half-dozen campers 24-hours notice.

Brian Richardson, a spokesman with Eugene Public Works, said they told the campers to move because they were blocking the public right of way -- the sidewalk. Richardson said personal items the homeless leave behind will go to a storage unit, and they will have 30 days to come pick any items up.

"They still have the opportunity to go get those types of items and things, but we will remove them from the site so it is clean and useable for all folks," Richardson said.

Police were also on scene making sure the campers were complying with the order and notified them of community services where they can get help.

Police said while crews cleaned up the area around the camp at noon on Friday, they found broken glass, needles and a bucket full of human waste that a hazmat team had to dispose of.

Camping in city limits is illegal, but at last check no citations or arrests have been made in connection with the camp being cleared out.

The homeless campers spent most of their Friday morning gathering their things in preperation for the move. Janet Zoll and other volunteers helped them moved their things. Zoll allowed campers to put items in her minivan.

"We're all in this together, and everyday more and more people find themselves in this situation," Zoll said.

Camper Mark Sylvia said he plans to camp away from homes and businesses and look for some vacant property where he can stay.

"We're just trying to survive," Sylvia said. "A lot of us don't have IDs or birth certificates and are stuck being homeless and can't get into a job or a shelter sometimes. It's just sad."

Richardson said situations like this are not uncommon. He said public works crews clean up camps like this one and illegal dumping sites that block public right of ways around 12 times a month.

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