City revamps homeless 'rest stops'; SLEEPS says 'too little, too late'

EUGENE, Ore. - The City Council will review and may take action Monday night on a proposal to create "rest stops" where people who are homeless can legally camp.

Mayor Kitty Piercy said the updated proposal allows for multiple sites on city land where up to 15 people could camp.

Unlike earlier versions of the proposal, campers would be allowed to leave their personal belongings secured in their tents during the day.

The proposal is the latest attempt to address some of the concerns brought to a head by the SLEEPS protests. The groups of campers have pitched tents at the county and federal courthouses and on public land around the city.

Camping is illegal in the City of Eugene.

"This sort of moving target of people camping in various places, and moving and camping - and I know they're testing the law - and I know their concern is for the well-being of the unhoused - but it makes the community pretty unsettled," Piercy said.

The new rest stops proposal is modeled on Opportunity Village.

"Hopefully get a good response from the folks who've been camping, that they will let us try this and see if it works and cooperate," Piercy said.

SLEEPS protesters said Monday that they like the city's attempts, but that it's not enough.

"One is it's not enough, and the other is almost too little, too late," said Jai Veda with SLEEPS. "It doesn't give the facilities that are necessary. It doesn't provide enough space for enough people."

Piercy said even if the City Council approves the plan, details about the cost remain to be addressed.

"Direct costs are trying to be held to a minimum because we're very conscious of the economic situation of the city," she said.

The City Council meets at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Hall in the Lane County Public Service building. | Related documents