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Homeless rest stop camp that moved from Autzen area to Mission must move again

EUGENE, Ore. - The Nightingale homeless rest stop that moved from county land near Autzen Stadium onto lane near the Eugene Mission again faces a move.

The City of Eugene had identified a possible site last summer in the Santa Clara area of North Eugene.

But after opposition from the neighbors, the City dropped the plan.

Instead, the Eugene Mission agreed to house the rest stop - but only for 6 months.

That time period is up Friday.

"It was our intent to not have the Nightingale Health Sanctuary stay at the Mission full-time and permanent," City Manager Jon Ruiz said.

The plan now is to split up the 11 campers at the Nightingale camp between a Community Support Shelters-run rest stop and the City's camping program.

"We will incorporate them into our regular car camping program, which has been going on for years," Ruiz said.

The move is expected to take place over the next 2 weeks - and doesn't sit well with the campers.

"It doesn't make sense to close down a rest stop because we were only supposed to be here a certain amount of time in the Whit - and move us into the Whit," rest stop manager Nathan Showers said.

The Mission site, as well as the sites where the campers will move, are all located in the Whiteaker neighborhood.

"It just really sucks that they can't say here's your spot, stay here, keep helping people," Showers said. "We're just basic people, basic homeless people trying to get back. We're here to help people get back on track."

Camping is illegal in the City of Eugene. But after the Occupy Eugene protest camp and later protest camps, like the Whoville camp at the corner of East Broadway and Hilyard Street, the City moved to allow legal, organized rest stop camps for people without housing.

Ruiz said the move is intended to be temporary while the city staff "continually work with neighborhoods and businesses and others to find sites that works for all of us."

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