Council OKs 2 homeless 'rest stop' camps; protesters disappointed by sites

      EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene City Council approved 2 sites for homeless "rest stop" camps where people could legally sleep on public property.

      Councilors voted 6-2 to move forward with camps near Northwest Expressway and Roosevelt and Garfield.

      Homeless protesters who have been camped out around town as part of the SLEEPS and Whoville protests aren't supportive of the decision. They said there are too few locations, located in poor neighborhoods far from services.

      They also questioned the suitability of the Northwest Expressway location, which is muddy and drains poorly.

      The rest stop proposal would provide limited duration legal camping for about 15 people.

      The city hopes to find a contractor to operate the camps using donations to avoid any additional cost to the public beyond the use of the land.

      Mayor Kitty Piercy stressed that the camps are not a solution to the homeless problem nor are they intended to be permanent.

      There is no timeline for the first camp to open. Once it is up and running and shows success, the city would open the second camp.

      The program will expire in March without extension by the city.

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