The Homeless Commission met on Monday to welcome its newest member, Chris Boice, and to discuss the development of a campground in the City of Roseburg to help address the homeless crisis.

Hastings Village: A home for some of Sutherlin’s houseless

Sam Temple is a reporter for The News-Review. He can be reached at or 541-957-4217.

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Sam Temple is a reporter for The News-Review. He can be reached at or 541-957-4217.

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(11) comments


These bums usurp the public’s ability to use sidewalks, bicycle paths and pedestrian right of ways with both their presence and their garbage. Look what they done to the duck pond. It’s no long safe to take your children there to walk on the trails. How is it that the rights of homeless bums, supersede the rights of the public and the taxpayer at large?


I used to fish the South Umpqua for bass, I went fishing down by Gaddis Park and was chased into the river by a pit bull from one of the homeless camps, the homeless people living in the parks are dangerous sociopaths that don't and can't fit into society, this is what you get for providing a habitat for the mentally deranged to multiply, we feed them, cloth them, house as many as we can, try to make them comfortable and they breed more, and with each set of offspring it's going to get worst, babies born addicted to meth, and heroine, some will have fetal alcohol syndrome or born with HIV, if you give the homeless people a camp where they have free reign to do what they like that's like setting a virus loose.

Huge bbfan

Read a story in the n r today about 1 homeless man accumulating 6 to 8 truckloads of trash 🗑. Do you really think that a camp will stop that?

I envision mountains ⛰️ of garbage that city and county employees will have to clean up at taxpayers expense and also putting the employees health at risk. Just Kicking the can down the road I think.

D Steel

I just read an article, I forget the website, where a pilot program pays those experiencing homelessness were paid $20/hr to pick up trash. Is that something that would work in Douglas County?


The Seattle Conservation Corp is such a program. It provides work and has helped homeless people get clean and sober and off the streets.

I'm in favor of this proposed camp site. Commissioner Boice made such a proposal several years ago and it didn't gain support from the city. It's needed because we have more homeless people than the Navigation Center can handle.

The courts have ruled that the homeless have a right to camp in public areas if the city doesn't have low-barrier shelter space for them.

Homeless people have a right, as human beings, to basic services such as running water and a place to go to the bathroom. The public has a right to feel safe in their parks and public spaces.

I hope the camping site materializes. Combined with the Navigation Center and the Roseburg Rescue Mission (a high barrier shelter, not meeting the demands of the court) we may be seeing a future where no one has to sleep in the parks and relieve themselves in the bushes.


Mark, You are once again wrong. The courts have not ruled that the homeless have a right to camp or otherwise establish homes, it's called squatting, on public lands. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals only ruled that cities cannot criminalize sleeping on public property, i.e. sleeping on a sidewalk. What we now have is homeless people establishing their homes, be they tents or cabins fashioned from scrap lumber, on park land thereby excluding the general public from enjoying those lands as is their right.


There has been debate over whether a tent and tarps without sanitation facilities can be defined as establishing a home or if it's just sleeping in public with protection from the weather.

I will never define tents and tarps cobbled together with scrap lumber, without sanitation, as an acceptable home in American society. It's a temporary shelter, a place for people to sleep with protection from the elements.

Do you consider a tent sans sanitation as an acceptable home for anyone? Are you expecting people to claim legal possession of property as squatters? Help me understand your legal reasoning.

In Oregon, squatters can claim legal rights after ten years of continuous occupation. it seems like it would be in our best interest to find solutions before 2029.

Perhaps we can agree that things got way out of hand when the pandemic struck and the CDC recommended that cities allow homeless people to camp out where they were in order to help prevent the spread of covid. Jails released prisoners who would normally be held. The ranks of the homeless swelled and the problem became unmanageable.

The public needs their parks back. There are several ways that can be done. Now that the pandemic is lessening, we could roust people out of visible public areas and push them deeper into the bushes where they'd have no sanitation. The closer they get to the banks of creeks and the river, the worse it is for public health.

Or we can provide low-barrier shelter with sanitation. The cops can humanely roust people out of the parks if there's an acceptable place for homeless people to shelter.

The Navigation Center will not provide enough beds to meet the needs even when it's fully up and running at full capacity. An official campsite for the homeless could

be an important factor in giving the parks back to the public.

I'd really like to hear more about your thinking on the homeless establishing homes with tents, tarps and scraps, how that relates to the laws on squatter's rights and what we need to pay attention to legally so that squatters don't end up taking possession of Gaddis and Stewart Park.


I never said the squatters could gain legal title to park property. It is not adverse possession when they are told they must leave and I don't believe anyone can gain title to publicly owned property via adverse possession. However, the people who live in the parks do act as though the property is theirs. There have been many conflicts at Gaddis park between the campers and the rightful users of the park: children and their parents during ball games. Needles strewn about. There are lots of campgrounds in the Umpqua Forest. Perhaps they should go there.

Your statement about a tent not being a home ignores history. Native Americans lived in tents for centuries as did settlers in early Americas. No running water. No toilets. The homeless are establishing homes. Many of them never move until the police force them to. Where will this encampment be put? Will there be rules? How many people will it accommodate? Another factor is that virtually every employer in Roseburg/Douglas County is hiring. When are the homeless going to get jobs? It seems as though it would be fairly easy in today's job market.


I don't know if we're agreeing or disagreeing. I, too, want tents and needles and raw sewage out of the parks. This conversation has taken a strange turn toward Native Americans and early settlers. You can't possibly be serious. But I'm game.

Yes, pre-modern people lived in tents without running water and toilets. Every single human being alive today has ancestors who lived in tents, caves and rough shelters without a single mod-con. They had no public sanitation (or antibiotics or vaccines) and half their children died before age 5.

Just because a person can live in a tent without sanitation it doesn't mean that any modern community should look at it as an acceptable home in 21st century America. Raw sewage doesn't care who it infects. Please wash the soles of your shoes when you come home from Gaddis Park. I am not joking. Take your shoes off outside and wash them, especially if you have kids who crawl or loll on the floors.

Pre-modern people were stable and smart and didn't have hypodermic needles stuck in their arms. They had their share of people with mental disorders and, as societies, they had their own ways of dealing with it. Some humane, some not.

Pre-modern cultures developed intricate rituals and rules about food, sickness, gathering water and disposing of human waste. The brilliance and strength of pre-modern societies doesn't have anything to do with our current crisis.

California had a recent typhus outbreak linked to fleas, feces and homeless camps. Typhus! It killed a lot of people in the noble old days of tent living. So did cholera, brought over with European settlers. Diarrhea has killed hundreds of millions of people around the world. Drink some contaminated water and die if you don't have access to rehydration. Typhoid and TB are also stalking the homeless camps in California.

So, no, I don't want to hear about people living for hundreds of years in tents without running water and toilets. It is not germane to this conversation.

But you are correct about jobs. Employers are hiring. How many are hiring people with untreated mental illness or addiction? Hmmm? You ask when are the homeless going to get jobs.

Personally, i would not wish an active addict on any employer. But an addict in recovery can be a good stable worker. Maybe in the next year, after ADAPT gets their new services up and running, more people will become employable.

You ask good questions about where, what and how. In October 2019, Commission Chris Boice proposed a new camp for 70-100 homeless people. He even had an engineering firm draw up plans. It did not gain support and that ship has sailed. The point is that the idea was feasible. At the time, not enough people thought it was a good idea. Then the problem exploded. It's a good idea now. Chris is newly appointed to the homeless commission. He will not be starting from scratch.

Previous camp proposal:


No. Most people that I see in these camps create trash and do not clean up after themselves. And $20/hour is ridiculous!


Just read the article about the amassing of trash in Roseburg in the N-R this week. It's about a homeless man under the Deer Creek bridge....and he was cited twice already.

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