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Advocates Push For An End To Eugene's Camping Ban

Rachael McDonald

Homeless people and their advocates gathered Monday evening at the Eugene Free Speech Plaza. They're asking the City Council to lift its camping ban.

Terra Williams is a volunteer with Occupy Medical. She says as Eugene Police continue to enforce the city's camping ban, advocates will keep asking the council to find better solutions for the growing homeless population.

Williams: "We do have a lot of empty buildings that could be utilized to house the homeless. We feel that the city spends a lot of money towards these policies that cause the EPD to follow the homeless around and cite them and confiscate their belongings."
Williams says the city could redirect money toward sanitation facilities for homeless campers. Eugene's leaders have expressed unwillingness to lift the camping ban because of concern for public safety. Meanwhile Portland's mayor last month declared a state of emergency because of homelessness-- and the city council is taking action to address it.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.