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EUGENE, Ore. - The White Bird Clinic is offering counseling and refferals at the Eugene Public Library to increase community access to its services.
White Bird is a local organization that provides services like mental health care, medical and dental treatment. Its goal is to serve the unserved, uninsured, disabled, and homeless.
The new program provides free walk-in counseling and referrals.
Some community members fear the program will add to the already dense homeless population near the downtown library. However, others said the increase will be worth it if it means services are available to people who would not otherwise get them.
"That could be an asset to those that are suffering when they're really that in need," said Bonnie Hunt of Eugene.
Jane Dunn, who was once homeless herself, said the library is a place of comfort for the homeless community. She believes more people will take advantage of White Bird's services if they don't have to enter a "clinic-like" environment.
"I think it's a place where people are comfortable to gather. They're here anyway," Dunn said. "People may not realize it, but this is where we go to get out of the rain, so it's really helpful."
The new program is supported by a one-year grant from Lane County. It is available Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.