Possible Lane County homelessness solutions presented at public forum

Residents attended a public forum to hear results of a recent study on homelessness in Lane County.

Posted: Oct. 10, 2018 10:38 PM
Updated: Oct. 11, 2018 10:38 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- People gathered at Lane Community College in downtown on Wednesday evening to hear a presentation about the homeless problem in Lane County and the proposed solutions.

The most staggering statistic presented on Wednesday evening by Liz Stewart of the Technical Assistance Collaborative was on the per-capita homeless rate in Lane County.

"Per-capita, compared to some of the other places like Portland, like Seattle, you actually have a higher per-capita of unsheltered single adults," Stewart said.

Thomas Burns, a data analysis masters student at Oregon State University, appreciated the way those numbers were presented. 

"From the point of view of somebody in data analytics, it was a very good presentation with clear numbers and clear course of action," Burns said.

Numbers aside, Eugene resident Kayla Pollard said she appreciated the approach that is being taken to target single adults in the homeless community. "I'm glad they're kind of targeting homeless individuals and giving them more resources to be successful and strive in society," Pollard said.

Live Healthy Lane believes this study could help their efforts for accessible, effective low-barrier shelters, and helping the homeless in Lane County make the transition to permanent housing.

Some preliminary solutions offered at Wednesday's public forum include expanding shelters and increasing their space and bed utilization, better use of Rapid Re-Housing resources and using a housing first model to get people off the streets.

The final version of this study is scheduled to be published in December of this year with a final budget, a final recommendation and a strategy to properly implement those recommendations.

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