Maura, where I live, Animal Control will not pick up cats, too many. They only do dogs. We take in barn cats (drop offs) and feed them but will not spend money on a vet. We do spay/neuter when the money allows. Just wanted to give a little support for the OP here.
It's a chlamydia infection in the eyes, Very common in cats. Easily treated with some optical terramycin which you must pick up from your vet. The vet might be willing to sell you the antibiotics without seeing the kittens, worth a call. However it MUST be treated or the effects can be severe.
My barn cat Delilah was dumped in my barn, I am assuming due to the severity of the condition with the infection in her eyes left untreated. One eye was crusted over, oozing pus and sealed closed. That was the GOOD eye. Teh bad one, well, the optical orb was actually pushed out of the socket due to infection and swelling. Her eyeball was actually pushed out, hanging out by the optical nerve. If the people had paud the 10 bucks or so for the meds, she would have been fine. Instead they chose to neglect and then let her be someone else's problem. After about 300 bucks in vet bills which included a round of intravenous fluids, minor eye surgery to reset her eye and sew it closed (and later open it again), antibiotics, anti inflams and tons of daily care, this is the end result.
She has severe scarring in the "bad" eye, although the good one was a complete recovery. We did manage to save they eye though. She very nearly died twice.
Spend a little money on care, now, or refuse them and condemn them to pain and suffering.
Speed Racer may be harsh but she is right. You have a responsibility to provide treatment for the ill animals in your care, whether you brought them into the world intentionally or through lack of prevention. Either way - get it sorted now or euthanize them.
I rescued two barn kittens that had just about the same thing going on. I washed their eyes every morning or time I noticed that they needed it. One of the kitten's eyes cleared up beautifully, while the others still needed medicine. I ended up getting them into a good home before I got the chance to take them to the vet. :) They are both healthy and happy now!
Sad thing is, no shelter would even take the kittens, as that was my original plan. Rescue them, wean them off milk, take them to a shelter, and have them placed. I had to skip the shelter part entirely. They would NOT take non-spayed or neutered kittens. ESPECIALLY not sick ones. =\
We ran into this problem a couple times in our barn kittens. Best bet is the vet before they get really bad. We ended up with 2 one-eyed barn cats due to the severity of the infection and 2 who never fully recovered even after multiple rounds of antibiotics. Both of the cats that never fully recovered had weepy eyes until they died (they each lived 10+ years). Besides that they seemed happy, but if we hadn't treated them it would've been much worse and they probably would've lost the eyes. According to the vet anyways.
With all that if you can't afford a vet you should probably just shoot them now. There is a chance that they will always "just" have running/weepy/nasty eyes but there is also a chance that the infection will severly damage their eyes to the point they need to be removed or that they are blind AND in extreme pain. The cats that had the eyes removed were in extreme pain when the eyes became ulcerated due to the infection. My parent's had the money to save them and did so, but if it happened now they would be put to sleep because of the expense. Point is, it isn't fair/humane to keep them alive without some sort of treatment by a vet. You don't want to put random pet store ointments in their eyes, the chances of causing more damage are very high.