The city council took big steps toward a solution Wednesday.
Councilor Alan Zelenka proposed a motion that would create a 120-day pilot program. It would allow dusk to dawn camping at approved vacant city properties, willing nonprofits and commercial properties.
It’s a temporary solution, but it’s more help than the homeless currently get, and all councilors agreed something needs to be done and soon.
“We really need to balance the reality of people needing to sleep with the needs of our other community members to use our parks as intended,”: said Claire Syrett, Eugene City Councilor.
“They’ll just move somewhere else. They’re not going to go away. They don’t have any other place to go. They’ll find another place, set up another camp. The same problem will arise,” said George Brown, Eugene City Councilor.
Councilors will now work with the city manager and staff to draft a new ordinance.
Homeless advocates at the meeting said they were happy with the city’s progress and hope it continues in a timely manner because lives are at stake.