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Homeless Encampment Returns to Downtown Eugene

Tiffany Eckert

About a dozen tents have re-appeared on a concrete slab of county-owned property in downtown Eugene known as the “Butterfly” lot. Campers are back to protest how the city and county are dealing with homelessness. 

The scene of cardboard and tarp covered tents has returned to 8th and Oak Street. Campers strongly object to the county’s plan of establishing an overnight curfew.

Credit Tiffany Eckert

Peeking out from his tent, 65-year old “Bob” says he’s not really happy about being so exposed downtown. There is too much activity and this weekend, temperatures dropped below 30 degrees.

“I’m just trying to get my next move organized because I’m going back over to 99. It’s a lot safer and this is just asking for it.”

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Eugene Police Officer Bo Rankin checks in on campers at the Butterfly lot at 8th and Oak Street. He says he and other officers will not issue trespassing or illegal camping citations until told to do so.

Two weeks ago, the county relocated campers from the Butterfly lot to a gravel parking area on Highway 99.

In a statement, Lane County called the Butterfly lot camping “illegal” and cited concerns over health and the safety of all people in the downtown core.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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