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Eugene makes national headlines for homeless crisis

A segment aired on Fox News called "Homeless Crisis: Decay of Great American Cities." It mentions U.S. cities including San Fransisco, Seattle and Eugene.

Posted: May 14, 2019 6:20 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:34 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As city and county officials make more promises to improve the homeless situation in Eugene, the nation is taking notice.

A segment aired on Fox News called "Homeless Crisis: Decay of Great American Cities." It mentions U.S. cities including San Fransisco, Seattle and Eugene.

Officials received an update Monday night on a plan to make changes to their homeless and housing services.

Using the recommendations made in the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC) report in January, city and county staff created a plan to improve services like homeless outreach and crisis response, prevention and diversion of homelessness, a coordinated entry system and developing permanent supportive housing.

RELATED: Eugene, Lane County receive update on homeless plan

KEZI 9 News spoke with Eugene residents and asked them their opinion about the appearance on Fox News. Some said they are shocked. Others said they are not.

"No, not looking at San Francisco where I'm very familiar with that," Lawrence Grabarek said. "No, I don't believe that at all. Eugene, the type of people that are homeless seem to be in greater need medically or mentally, and they're kind of cast off to society because of that and so they eventually find their help hopefully ... San Francisco, it's more of a lifestyle."

"My initial reaction is that Eugene is a small town that has the same problems as big towns on a smaller scale, so we're all exposed to the same things, just on a smaller scale," said Gordon Gallic, a Eugene resident.

The plan also calls for a new 75-bed, low-barrier permanent shelter to be built and a temporary shelter to be put in place until the permanent shelter opens.

Though the meeting was meant to be just an informational session and taking action wasn't planned, the Eugene City Council approved moving forward with the plan to get details on budget impacts.

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