SLEEPS protesters: What do they want?

SLEEPS protesters: What do they want?
Long term, Tin Man said the protesters want a space on public land big enough for all the unhoused to camp. "If the City of Eugene goes along with what we're proposing, it'll cost you zero," he said.

EUGENE, Ore. - A protest camp organizer who goes by Tin Man showed a reporter around the three campsites in downtown Eugene.

"This is Whoville 5. Just down the road we have Whoville 6, and just down the way we have Whoville 7," he said.

Two of the three camps are underneath the Franklin Boulevard/Coburg Road overpass, set up as part of the homeless rights protest in Eugene known as SLEEPS.

"We're just grown people that are trying to get to the next step of our life, and we know what we need to do," Tin Man said. "We need to do it for ourselves, and we also need to do it for the neighbors and the community to show them that we're just like they are."

On Monday night, just a block from the camps, the City Council held a public meeting to hear from campers and the community. No action items were on the agenda, so no decisions were made.

"What the City of Eugene is doing right now isn't working," Tin Man said.

What do they want?

Tin Man said Tuesday night that SLEEPS protesters want a 6-month trial period with 4 sanctioned camps like the Whoville camps.

"But also in that 6-month period, we need a moratorium on all camping tickets in Eugene," he said.

Camping in public is against the law in Eugene.

Long term, Tin Man said the protesters want a space on public land big enough for all the unhoused to camp.

"If the City of Eugene goes along with what we're proposing, it'll cost you zero," he said. "It is all being done through private donations, private funding. We pass the hat every day at these things."

Tin Man said Whoville camps 5, 6 and 7 have not yet received any eviction notices.

When they do, the protesters vow to double the number of camps, he said.