City puts fence around Whoville camp

EUGENE, Ore. -- Workers put a fence around the Whoville Camp Friday a week after the City of Eugene put up "no trespassing" signs at the property at Broadway and Hilyard.

There was little resistance from the homeless campers as crews installed the temporary fence.

City officials said the campers wouldn't be kicked out immediately, rather within a matter of weeks.

"The camp is going to be closed. It's a matter of when, not if, and we're trying to work with (the city) to try and find some transition," said Eugene Police Lt. Klinko.

The Whoville Camp was initially started in north Eugene as a part of the S.L.E.E.P.S. protest. Homeless at the current campsite on Hilyard St. and Franklin Blvd. say they have nowhere else to go and plan to stay put.

Concerned citizen Bonnie Conley, a Eugene schoolteacher, said the problem will still exist even if the camp is relocated.

"We're still going to see them. You can't just get rid of this eyesore that embarrasses Eugene, and is a big embarrassment to the University of Oregon," said Conley. "We can't just get an eraser and erase them. They're human beings."

Protest supporters plan to hold a candlelight vigil at the Whoville campsite at 5:30 p.m. Friday.