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A Visit To Eugene's Homeless Camp 99, As Eviction Date Looms

Tiffany Eckert

Transient and unhoused people camping at a Lane County owned gravel lot on Highway 99 will have to vacate this week (Monday/Tuesday.) Campers have the option to sign up for a bed at an established site run by Saint Vincent de Paul nearby. In advance of the eviction, KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert visits the site known as Camp 99.

Eric Jackson has been here since he and other homeless people  were forced to leave a protest camp at the Butterfly Lot in downtown Eugene, two months ago.

Reporter: “Do you have a tent in here?”

(“Whoa, don’t step in the dog poop,” Jackson warns.)

“Yeah, I’m in the camp leader’s spot as they made the map.”

Reporter: “Are you on the list to go over to the Dusk to Dawn?”

“I’m signed up for the micro-shelter at the Dusk to Dawn,” Jackson says.

That St. Vinnie’s managed camp has expanded with 100 more beds in heated, military wall tents. It will soon be open 24 hours a day. Despite assurances, Jackson doubts the new camp will be able to meet the need. Numerous car campers are parked around Camp 99.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Eric Jackson (left) is named camp leader at Camp 99. He visits with son, Max, who has been traveling, taking photographs and living out of his jeep.

“So we’re losing a total of 80 plus beds,” Jackson says, “for people that sleep currently in and about the property at 525 North Highway 99.”  

Jackson says when the eviction does begin, he plans to be the last one to leave. 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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