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Eugene's Camp 99 Officially Closes, Homeless Campers Disperse

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Tiffany Eckert
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The temporary homeless encampment in north Eugene known as Camp 99 is officially closed. By late Wednesday afternoon, only a few campers were still moving out-- under the watchful eye of security guards and Eugene police. Lane County officials say cleanup of the property will beginThursday morning.

What remains are piles of personal items, bicycle parts and lots of questionable debris. Camp 99 looks like a small dumpsite. Volunteers like Reverend Wayne Martin have been here for the past three days, offering coffee, packing material and rides to the displaced.

Martin started the group HEAT: Homeless Empathy Action Team. He understands this forced move is a hassle for campers but he says this place was quickly becoming unsafe.

“There were very unsavory types who were finding their way in here,” Martin says, “and unfortunately there was no procedure in which they could be 86’d out of here. So that created more and more problems.”

It is reported about 80 people from Camp 99 have signed up to stay at the Saint Vincent de Paul tent camp down the road. Rev. Martin recently toured that site and says he was pleasantly surprised at how the agency is shifting functions to shelter hundreds of people.

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
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Reverend Wayne Martin is a homeless advocate in Eugene.

“Because of their track record, they’re probably going to get good at it and get good at it quickly,” Martin notes.

The county will soon begin to dismantle portable toilets, remove dumpsters and begin hauling out the enormous piles of stuff left behind at Camp 99. 

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
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Eugene Police were called to Camp 99 over a disturbance involving campers. Here, a camper moves his Ocupod past officers.

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
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Former Camp 99 residents take shelter from a light rain Wednesday afternoon.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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