Homeless Advocates Stage Protest Inside Eugene Restaurant

Feb 9, 2020

A protest banner is unfurled over the banister inside Elk Horn Brewery on Feb. 8th, 2020
Credit Penny Royale

A small group of homeless advocates staged a protest at a Eugene restaurant on Saturday night, using a megaphone to claim the owner is anti-homeless. The group of activists entered Elk Horn Brewery, unfurled a banner over the banister that read “Housekeys not Handcuffs,” and handed out posters.

They were protesting Steve Sheehan, owner of Elk Horn Brewery, who formed a coalition called Eugene Wake Up in 2019. Its membership includes more than a hundred other business owners who’ve dealt with repeat vandalism and disruptive behavior, often from transients.

Sheehan began Eugene Wake Up after a homeless woman caused $8000 in damage to his brewery. Last fall, Sheehan told KLCC that many in Eugene Wake Up fear that local officials prioritize homeless concerns over local businesses, and should hold criminal behavior more accountable

After the restaurant demonstration on Saturday night, the protesters released a statement which said in part, "Eugene Wake Up is spreading the rhetoric that the homeless in Eugene are lawless criminals who need to be watched.”

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