EUGENE, Ore.-- The Eugene City Council and the Lane County Board of Commissioners met Tuesday for a joint works session on the homeless issue in the area.
Local leaders were presented with up to date data about the size of the homeless population in Eugene as well as how to create safe, healthy places for the unhoused during winter. According to the Homeless-by-name list, which records people who use services on a monthly basis. The numbers show there are over 9,679 people who are considered homeless in Eugene. The data also shows more people use services during colder months.
But the question remains amongst leaders, how do we keep the homeless safe during the pandemic?
Ideas were presented about creating more non-congregate shelters so the homeless could stay in one place. This could include creating safe sleeping villages, quick build units, and motels. The cost of each varies and there will be further discussion between local leaders about which direction to choose.
There was also talk about creating a more permanent, low-barrier housing in the region. This means there would be very low requirements for people to receive services.
No formal decision was made Tuesday night, but both governments agreed they must work together as the pandemic continues to keep the unhoused safe and healthy.