Central Point, Ore. — A local non-profit is speaking out, following encounters with transients behind their dance hall. The Star Promenaders own the Rogue Valley Square Dance Center on Table Rock road, and said they’ve dealt problems associated with a growing homeless population.
John Olson operates the dance hall. According to him, transients have broken into their garage, used the power and water, and occasionally leave trash behind. But the most damage done thus far has been to the hall’s air conditioning unit, when Olson said it was disassembled for the copper wire.
“They got about $80 worth of metal, but they did about $10,000 worth of damage to the ac unit,” Olson said. “It used to be a few of them, but it’s gotten to be more and more.”
Since then, Olson has said he has tried to get to know the homeless population living there.
“The lady that they arrested on outstanding warrants, this was her a camp, and she was up around the corner, she moved over here.”
Olson took our NBC5 News crew through the trails, and pointed out certain camps; some were vacant, while others were occupied. A large section in the middle was burnt by a number of small fires sparked earlier in the summer.
“There were four suspicious fires that day, from here all the way over to freeway overpass.”
With no easy solution in sight, Olson has one simple request.
“Respect our property, take care of us, and you guys can go through there,” Olson said. “I have empathy for them.”
NBC5 News put in a couple calls to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, but they were not returned before this article was published.
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