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Tent city in Hawthorne Park forced to close down

Dozens of people are now forced to leave their campsite and move somewhere else.

Posted: Sep 21, 2020 4:13 PM
Updated: Sep 21, 2020 6:43 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Medford Police Department gave their final 24-hour eviction notice to the campers living at Hawthorne Park. The camp has gradually grown since the Almeda Fire burned north from Ashland along the Bear Creek Greenway.

The Police Department is also partnering with the Rogue Valley Retreat and other organizations to help provide physical and mental health care to those who cannot usually afford or receive it. The agency says that it wants to help people currently living at what is known to be a "Tent City" find new shelters and places to set up camp. 

Hawthorne Park is not a designated campground or evacuation area. The public park for children, family and friends has been shared with campers living near the dog park with Hawthorne Park.

Police say they have found human feces, needles, and drugs within the area.

Campers are frustrated with the eviction notice. The community feels as if they are consistanly being pushed out of everywhere they go. They say Jackson County wants to get rid of the homeless and how they feel hopeless with no where to go.

Areas of the Bear Creek Greenway has been shut down since the Almeda Fire burned through, with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office labeling it unsafe for the public — effectively cutting off much of the local homeless population from their accustomed camp sites.

Medford Police posted in an update on Monday afternoon that the Livability Team had connected 34 people with Rogue Retreat and brought two to the evacuee center at the Expo. 36 others were eligible for Rogue Retreat, but "did not accept services," the agency said.

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