Will Rest Stops Help Eugene Homeless?

12-1 homeless campingEUGENE, Ore. – The term “rest stops” is used a lot in Eugene, but many people aren’t sure exactly what they are or how they work.

The city came up with the idea for rest stops to provide a safe place for the homeless to sleep. The latest proposed site is Leo Harris Drive, near the Science Factory parking lot.

The city council considers the rest stops a community driven model. The city provides land it already owns, away from schools, homes and parks, then a community organization manages the sites by providing oversight and structure.

The campers who live on the site are to work together to keep it functioning. There are rules against alcohol, illegal drugs and violence, and there is an interview process to ensure only serious campers.

KEZI 9 News spoke to residents to see what they thought of the city’s approach.

“I think it’s a great idea as long as people can be civil and work in an order that it would actually be successful,” said Eugene resident Thomas Devereux.

“If they’re working in that community home and earning their spot where they are living, I think it would be ideal,” said Eugene resident Monica Frick.

Other rest stop rules state that the sites must have portable restrooms and trash collection on site. Currently, two rest stops are open to campers. One is at Garfield Street and Roosevelt Boulevard, and the other is near the Northwest Expressway and Chambers Street.

Both are being managed by Community Supported Shelters at no cost to taxpayers.

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