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Eugene Police Remove Homeless Camp From Downtown Lot

Tiffany Eckert

Under heavy police presence, about 15 homeless campers were evicted from the county-owned Butterfly lot in downtown Eugene Wednesday afternoon. The county cited health and safety issues as the reason for the abrupt action.

Devon Ashbridge speaks for Lane County.

“The County has decided to declare the Butterfly lot property closed to everyone.”

Eugene police officers and county personnel cleared the area and loaded tents and belongings in a trailer for transport to an alternate camp on Highway 99.

Some campers and by-standers showed their anger at the upheaval.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Bo Walker Hodge said his tent was removed from the Butterfly lot and tossed over the police barrier.

(hear a woman yelling: “What if you were homeless and having your tarps and tent taken to the dump.”)

Bo Walker Hodge is wheelchair bound.

“I just moved there last night. I thought I’d found a safe place to sleep…apparently not.”

Hodge’s care-worker is Amber Pike. She’s helping him pick up his tent and blankets.

“It’s easier for him to get services out in the downtown area than it is to stay down Highway 99,” Pike says. “He can’t go off somewhere else and camp because he is in a chair. He is literally stuck to the sidewalks.”

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Bo Walker Hodge with his care worker Amber Pike after gathering up his belongings.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
A homeless camper parked briefly at Free Speech Plaza.

Lane County maintains camping on its downtown property is illegal. On November 27th, the Board of Commissioners will consider a curfew that prohibits occupying the Butterfly lot between 11 pm and 6 am.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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