Downtown businesses: 'Eugene Wake Up' to homeless crime

Owners say they're fed up with the vandalism, violence and mayhem in Eugene.

Posted: Oct 25, 2019 7:50 PM
Updated: Oct 25, 2019 9:35 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – After years of vandalism, violence, and general mayhem in downtown Eugene, business owners say they’re ready to take action.

A group of several dozen owners gathered at the Elk Horn Brewery Thursday night to air their grievances and find ways of fixing the problem. Stephen Sheehan, co-owner of Elk Horn, whose restaurant was recently trashed by a repeat offender, says he’s ready to lead the charge.

“We're tired of telling each other we're sorry,” Sheehan said. “Let's do something and come together as a group; let’s start a movement."

The movement Sheehan is referring to is called “Eugene Wake Up” and it was launched at Thursday’s meeting. The goal is to create a support group made up of local business owners to help those whose establishment has fallen victim to a crime like vandalism.

“The first time in 10 years have I ever felt as moved as I felt the last three days with support pouring in from business owners, community members,” Sheehan said. “It’s like an awakening.”

Brittany Quick-Warner, president and chief executive of the Eugene Chamber of Commerce, said business leaders want to help solve the homelessness problem, but they want the crime to stop first.

“I'm hearing from businesses that they're frustrated with the criminal behavior going on,” Quick-Warner said. “They're frustrated about the vandalism, they're frustrated by their staff getting harassed as they walk by, they're frustrated about showing up at the office and having human feces and needles out in front of their building.”

KEZI 9 News tried to reach Mayor Lucy Vinis to get her reaction to the Eugene Wake Up initiative, as well as her thoughts on downtown safety, but she did not respond to our request.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22022

Reported Deaths: 375
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah505698
Washington320227
Marion300573
Umatilla234231
Clackamas159547
Malheur83914
Deschutes61710
Lane6063
Jackson4992
Yamhill47413
Lincoln4219
Union3952
Jefferson3794
Morrow3783
Polk33012
Linn30311
Hood River2050
Klamath2042
Wasco1953
Benton1786
Douglas1591
Josephine1282
Columbia1020
Coos910
Clatsop890
Crook501
Baker420
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa201
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney110
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00
Eugene
Few Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 75°
Corvallis
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 73°
Roseburg
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 78°
North Bend
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 65°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events