Commissioners to vote on management of Santa Clara homeless pilot program

Lane County commissioners will vote on whether St. Vincent de Paul will take over the Overnight Homeless Parking pilot program in the Santa Clara/River Road area.

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 5:17 AM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 7:45 AM

EUGENE, Ore. - Today could be another step forward in the Overnight Homeless Parking program in the Santa Clara/River Road area.

Lane County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether they want to award the contract for management of the pilot program to St. Vincent de Paul during Tuesday morning's meeting.

The board voted to authorize a one-year pilot program in the Santa Clara/River Road area a few weeks ago.

READ ALSO: Lane County considers overnight camping pilot program

The pilot program will cost $41,696 to operate for one year. Terry McDonald, the executive director of St. Vincent de Paul said his organization came up with this number. One third of those costs will towards facility costs such as bathrooms, garbage, and storage. The rest will go towards operational costs such as supervision and security.

"The difference with the Overnight Camping Program is that they operate during the winter only. People have to leave or drive away during the daytime. With this program, people will be able to leave their camper in the church or business parking lot pretty much around the clock," said Farr.

Residents living in that area have expressed concern about safety and crime. However, Commissioner Farr said that campers will have to pass a screening before they can be accepted to stay at one of the pilot program's locations.

"The people who apply to camp there are people who will not have felony arrests and they will not have any outstanding warrants. People who basically are trying to get back into stable housing, "said Farr.

Farr said most of the other homeless sites are usually well-maintained as campers keep their belongings inside of their vehicles.

This is how the pilot program will work: There will be up to 10 locations at faith organizations, businesses, non-profits, and government offices. Individual homeowners will not be able to offer up their backyards, driveways, or vacant lots.

Campers will have access to bathrooms, garbage, and storage facilities as well.

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