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Local group partnering with homeless to keep downtown Eugene clean

In August, Carry It Forward will be launching an initiative to clean up in front of downtown businesses.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 6:49 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:46 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A local organization is looking to partner with the homeless to keep the streets of downtown Eugene clean starting this August.

The Carry It Forward organization serves unhoused people in Eugene and Springfield. They focus on providing the homeless with basic human needs like laundry services, hygiene products and bedding.

They also create programs for homeless people to work and give back to the community, including the initiative they plan to launch in August to clean up the streets in front of businesses downtown.

The organization will form groups of homeless people to clean up the messes from other transients from the night before.

Arwen Maas-Despain, the executive director for Carry It Forward, said she hopes this program empowers the homeless.

"We're hoping that our program provides stabilization and increasing people's ability to meet their own goals,” said Maas Despain. “We are an empowerment model, a strength based model, and we believe everyone has something to offer."

The service is free, and businesses will be able to call Carry It Forward and they will send a group out to clean up.

Maas-Despain said the program is still in its pilot run. If everything goes well, the program will launch next month.

To learn more about the program, click here.

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