Eugene's 5th Street Homeless Tent Campers Claim Protest

Jun 22, 2019

Homeless campers living in a row of tents in downtown Eugene say they are there in protest. The campers object to the lack of shelter in the city center and claim mistreatment by local business owners.

The six tents are positioned in the right-of-way area between the curb and sidewalk—just down the street from 5th Street Public Market.  

The curb camp is in clear view of Obie property Inn at the 5th.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Eric Jackson lives in a tattered blue pop up tent. He claims Obie Companies, which owns the popular public market, has barred protest campers from the shops.

Eric Jackson and Grama watcs as construction crews work on the Gordon Hotel, an Obie Company project going up across the street from his curbside tent camp protest.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

“The 5th Street Market company has in fact banned anybody that is at this protest. There’s a sign right here behind me. And we are trespassed from the property in advance of doing anything wrong.”

The curbside homeless tent camp on 5th Street is directly across from construction of a $60 million dollar development by Obie Companies.
Credit Tiffany Eckert

Obie Companies Vice President Casey Barrett says he’s unaware of any denial of access to the 5th Street Market. He also says “homelessness is the single biggest issue in this community.”

The Eugene City Council will decide Monday whether to change an ordinance allowing for trespass charges against people staying in the right of way planting spaces.