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30-Day Deadline For Whoville

Rachael McDonald

Whoville residents have a month before the City of Eugene will shut it down. Meanwhile the City Manager is tasked with finding somewhere else for the 30 to 40 homeless people to go. The City Council voted 6 to 2 Wednesday to set the deadline.

Counselor Claire Syrett made the proposal. The City Manager recently announced the Whoville camp at West Broadway and Hilyard would have to close. Police put up no trespassing signs, then a fence with openings around the lot. Syrett says the council heard from community members asking for the camp to stay.

Syrett: "It's not really a tenable situation. So this was kind of an attempt to find a compromise between just letting the City Manager run that course and trying to set up some alternatives before they get shut down."

Nathan Showers, who goes by Red, lives at Whoville.

Showers: "It's just a Band-Aid. The 30 days is just a Band-Aid. It's going to be torn off and they're going to try to dismantle us. And there's more people out there that need help too. Whoville is just a small picture."

Homeless advocate Jean Stacy says she wishes the plan had more teeth so that if the City Manager doesn't find alternatives for Whoville residents, the month deadline can be extended.

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.
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