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Temporary camping site in Eugene gets temporary move

13th and Chambers
Karen Richards
Several campers had moved by mid-day Tuesday. Other people were sorting their belongings, preparing to relocate this week.

The City of Eugene has been staffing a camping site for unhoused people at 13th and Chambers since March 2021, but recent winter weather had them scrambling to find a safer option.

A permanent Safe Sleep site at 410 Garfield is several weeks from being ready. Kelly McIver, with Eugene’s unhoused response, said conditions on 13th degraded in December’s snow and rain. He told KLCC, “It is a flat area with poor drainage and there was definitely a lot of standing water, and we were bringing in loads of bark to do moisture control, but it was clear that this was not going to be a viable option for the remainder of the winter.”

McIver said St. Vincent de Paul is working with the City to help move people to an intermediate location, either in a hoop building on Highway 99 or their nearby Dawn to Dawn site. He said nearly every camper contacted Monday has opted to go to the proposed locations. The area at 13th and Chambers will be closed and fenced on Tuesday, January 18th.

St. Vincent de Paul's repurposed hoop building can house up to 37 tents. McIver said the remainder of the people in the estimated 46 sites on 13th Ave. have the option to live in the Dawn to Dawn location until the Garfield site is open. He said neither Highway 99 location can house pets, noting residents can work with Greenhill Humane society to find a temporary place for their pets, or talk to the City about an alternate temporary living situation.

Karen Richards has been a KLCC reporter since the fall of 2012.