Campers under bridge pack up after tickets from police

EUGENE, Ore. - People who had pitched camp under the Ferry Street Bridge after the city closed the Whoville camp April 4 packed up their belongings Wednesday morning after a visit from police Tuesday evening.

"The police officers yesterday gave us a notice quarter to 7 p.m. and said we had to be out by 8 a.m. this morning," said camper Elijah Davis.

Where will the former Whoville campers sleep Wednesday night?

"We're not sure, we're not sure," Carrie Miller said. "Whoville had its problems, but we worked it out and we had a home. We had a home."

The campers packed up and moved to 7th and Garfield, according to the Community Alliance of Lane County.

The camp that closed Wednesday was located under the bridge in an area posted "no camping."

"At this point in Eugene, if we were to sleep in public it's a violation, we can be cited," Davis said. "In fact I got $150 dollar ticket yesterday. I have a wife and service animal, so I did provide a tent for them to sleep in therefore my wife and I both got $150 tickets."

Camping on public property is illegal in Eugene, although the city has made some exceptions for car camping in designated parking lots and new "homeless rest stops" - small camps on city-owned property run by non-profit organizations.

Michael Carrigan from Community Alliance of Lane County said the homeless rest stops are great but the process to open one just isn't fast enough, and the ones that are open aren't big enough to house former Whoville campers.

The City of Eugene closed the Whoville camp on April 4 after several months.