30-Day Deadline For Whoville

Jan 29, 2014

Whoville residents have a month before the City of Eugene will shut it down. Meanwhile the City Manager is tasked with finding somewhere else for the 30 to 40 homeless people to go. The City Council voted 6 to 2 Wednesday to set the deadline.

The Whoville camp has been at West Broadway and Hilyard in Eugene since September.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Counselor Claire Syrett made the proposal. The City Manager recently announced the Whoville camp at West Broadway and Hilyard would have to close. Police put up no trespassing signs, then a fence with openings around the lot. Syrett says the council heard from community members asking for the camp to stay.

Syrett: "It's not really a tenable situation. So this was kind of an attempt to find a compromise between just letting the City Manager run that course and trying to set up some alternatives before they get shut down."

Nathan Showers, who goes by Red, lives at Whoville.

Showers: "It's just a Band-Aid. The 30 days is just a Band-Aid. It's going to be torn off and they're going to try to dismantle us. And there's more people out there that need help too. Whoville is just a small picture."

Homeless advocate Jean Stacy says she wishes the plan had more teeth so that if the City Manager doesn't find alternatives for Whoville residents, the month deadline can be extended.