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Eugene officials propose temporary homeless shelter at old city hall lot

The city is still working on a land swap deal with Lane County to make the vacant space the new home of the courthouse.

Posted: Oct 19, 2018 4:08 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2018 4:54 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With the homeless crisis gripping the city, Eugene city officials are considering putting a temporary shelter on the vacant lot where city hall used to stand.

However, the city is still working on a land swap deal with Lane County to make the vacant space the new home of the courthouse.

KEZI spoke with Eugene resident Erin Wickersham, who thinks the shelter is is a good idea.

"It's good for the community because it cleans up the streets, and there's a lot of tents and garbage and everything, and I think it would be more beneficial for everybody if they just gave them somewhere to sleep," Wickersham said.

Officials are proposing to have a day center that would provide a space for people to be during the day, and it would be staffed with social service providers to help connect people to the services they need.

They also plan on having an overnight shelter that would be similar to their dusk to dawn program, which provides homeless people with a warm and safe place to be between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.

However, not everyone agrees with the proposal.

"I kind of liked to see them on the outside of town," Coburg resident Tony Varney, "I know that they need a place to go, and I know there's getting to be more and more homeless people, but I think on the outskirts of town would be a better choice than the middle of town."

City officials said no decision has been made, but said they will be discussing the plans in more detail during their meeting on Monday.

According to a recent study by the Technical Assistance Collaborative about 130 people become homeless each month in Lane County. The study also revealed there are more than 1,600 people experiencing homelessness in the county this year.

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