Roseburg homeless: 'Not all of us are bad apples'

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- After a story about some people wanting to set up a homeless camp at Willis Park in Roseburg, Many people spoke out on the issue, wondering why we need a camp when we have the Roseburg Rescue Mission.

Homeless advocates have suggested designating Willis Park as a camp, but critics of the plan are wondering why the homeless don't just go to the mission instead.

Lynn Antis, the executive director of the mission, says there is one thing that people have to be to stay at the mission: sober. "To come into the Roseburg Rescue Mission, a person can't be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, otherwise the doors are open for them to come in," he said.

And in order to have an evening meal and a bed to sleep on, guests are required to attend the mission's nightly chapel service. "There's those that we call 'campers' and the others that'll come into the mission, and the campers have a tendency to want to use drugs and alcohol," said Antis. We see that as the main reason why they don't want to come into the mission."

Antis says he believes if Willis Park is designated for the homeless, it would attract more campers to downtown.

Ray Gambrell is homeless, and says not all people in his situation are drug and alcohol users. "You know, not all of us are bad apples, but we need homeless camps, of some sort of trailer camp," he said.

While Gambrell is homeless himself, he says he doesn't think downtown is where a camp should be. "Not necessarily a camp down there because all the business area and people are trying to shop," he said.

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