Eugene working to relocate homeless to approved Safe Sleep Site

While the current number of people using the site is lower than expected, the work to relocate more continues.

Posted: Oct 7, 2021 7:45 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2021 12:28 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Eugene’s first Safe Sleep Site is open, but the work isn't over yet.

Officials with the program said their current focus is on getting homeless community members relocated to the property at 310 Garfield Street.

So far, 13 recreational vehicles and four cars are at the site. According to a spokeperson for St. Vincent de Paul, that's fewer than they thought there would be at this point, but team members are reaching out to people who agreed to stay at the site.

Officials said the program is full, and there are 15 people on the waiting list.

RELATED: Sleeping safely: Eugene opens new site for homeless campers

KEZI 9 News checked in with Kayla Pollard, a client service coordinator for St. Vincent de Paul. She goes out into the community and helps people get moved into sites like this one. She said the reason things are going slower than expected is because some people might have a trailer they need help moving. 

"Just give it a little bit of time; moving is hard. Moving is hard when we're housed; it takes me a couple of weeks to move my stuff when I'm moving locations, so maybe just a little bit of patience because folks are packing, getting all of their stuff ready as fast as they can," said Pollard. 

MORE: City of Eugene hopes to provide smooth transition for Safe Sleep Sites

KEZI 9 News also spoke with Emily, a camper who moved into the Safe Sleep Site on Monday. She's been homeless since 2019. Emily said she's finally been able to sleep. 

"It was nice being able to sleep. I have not slept very well for a while now. Because I mean, I was out in the thick of it. You don't get to sleep very sound out there, you know?" said Emily. 

Emily also told KEZI 9 News she never wanted to be homeless. She lost her home a few years ago after a bad accident that left her neck and back broken. She couldn't start working again until about six months ago. She said sites like the one at 310 Garfield Street are a lifesaver. 

"It's been horrible. I hate being outside. I'm not meant to be outside, I don't like it. Kayla came out and sought us out to help us," said Emily. 

Pollard said with rescheduling appointments to move people in, the timeline to get people in their rightful parking place has been moved back into next week. 

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