Handling Homelessness Across the Nation

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EUGENE, Ore. — One doesn’t need to go very far to find signs of homelessness in Eugene. Panhandlers seemingly stand guard at just about every corner. On any given night in the state of Oregon, 15,828 have no place to call their own. Of that, 1,751 are in Lane County.

Lane County spends about $8.3 million a year on homeless services. $2.1 million comes from the City of Eugene to fund a variety of homeless and sheltering services like the city car camping program and most recently, rest stops. But in the middle of budget crisis, the money spent or not spent on homeless services is often scrutinized.

KEZI 9 News Reporter Nha Nguyen takes a look at how other cities across the country compare when it comes to dealing with the societal issue of homelessness.


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  1. Randy Cain says:

    Thanks to KEZI 9 News´╗┐ for putting this piece together. It’s one of the most comprehensive and objective stories I’ve seen on the subject. Something to keep in mind, though..it’s not about “curing” homelessness, as their will always be homelessness. It’s about providing safe and legal places for our homeless to sleep, without fear of attack from others….or arrest or citation from the Eugene Police Department and City of Eugene Government´╗┐.
    Again, thank you, KEZI :D

  2. Joe Z says:

    If I was a story editor at KEZI, I would have left out the opening line “Panhandlers seemingly stand guard at just about every corner.” This really turned me off, because I know that not every panhandler is homeless. Maybe 99% of them are– I don’t know, but neither does the reporter. I don’t think that connection should have been made. The story could have stood on its own without that statement. IIn fact, think the rest of the sotry is very well done. It’s just too bad that opening statement kinda turned me off from the start. I personally know two people who do panhandling around Eugene, and are not homeless. They don’t really need to do it to survive. They brag about how much they can collect on any given Saturday. They love Eugene because they know the City is going to tolerate it more so than elsewhere. Again, I am not questioning the problem of homelessness, just the connection made in this story with panhandling.

  3. Jeff Albanese says:

    I believe there is an error in this report. The sentence about the city of Eugene’s spending on homeless services makes it sound as if public funds are being spent on rest stops. The ordinance authorizing rest stops specifies that rest stops must operate at no cost to the city. Neither Lane County nor the city of Eugene provide any financial support whatsoever to the two operating rest stops.

  4. David Strahan says:

    Several mis statements made here. Flying a sign is often taken as a sign of homelessness, often untrue. It’s a sign of economic failure. Failure of medical system, failure of housing regulations and failure of proper tax management.
    Mi would love to see the breakdown of how ‘City of Eugene’ spends 2.1 million on homeless costs… Given how hard it is to even get city council to agree on a acceptable location for a Rest Stop, I find this figure hard to swallow. Quite a bit of pr spin I think by news media.

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