As World Athletics Championships launched, where were Eugene’s unhoused residents?

Pauline Krieger

Pauline Krieger pours water for her dog, Dahmer, while resting under a tree at Scobert Gardens Park in Eugene. Krieger and other people who were sleeping outside in Eugene said police or parks officials would come by frequently and ask them to leave. (Samantha Swindler/Staff)


EUGENE — As the city of Eugene prepared to welcome thousands of visitors for the World Athletics Championships, many unhoused people found themselves being pushed out of sight from formal sweeps of encampments or informal demands from police.

Officials say tent removals began months ago as the city started to crack down on outdoor camping allowed earlier in the pandemic and didn’t increase in the days and weeks leading up to the track championships. But unhoused people and their advocates tell a different story, putting a spotlight on anti-homeless policies in the city.