Whoville Residents Meet With Eugene Mayor

Oct 7, 2013

Homeless people who've pitched their tents around town in small communities they're calling "Whovilles" met with the Mayor of Eugene Monday. The group wants the city to lift or change its camping ban.

Whoville camp at Broadway and Hilyard in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Currently a group of about 30 people is camped at Hilyard and Broadway in Eugene. Whoville representatives met Mayor Kitty Piercy and asked her if they can stay there. Police have cited the campers for violating Eugene's camping ban.

Anthony Gomez came to Oregon a year ago. He had a job and a place to live. But he says a series of decisions and circumstances led him to lose all that.

Gomez: "I've worked many a job and it's just like right now the work's not out there. And I just feel sometimes like it's a whole that you're in that you can't get out of."

The 35-year old grew up in foster homes. He says maybe if he had family it would be easier. Gomez and other residents of Whoville say one thing would help:

Gomez: "A safe place to leave my stuff and sleep and go out and look for work."

With the with recent closures of shelter beds at the mission, members of Whoville say there aren't a lot of options for people without homes. They're hoping to be part of the city's pilot rest stops which are in the works.