EUGENE, Ore. --- Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis delivered her annual state of the city address on Wednesday. During her speech she touched on multiple different areas for improvement for the city including equity, climate change, and homelessness.
She provided three specific focuses in the area of homelessness. First, she said the city will continue to support and advocate for nonprofit providers like community supported shelters.
“The City does not provide these direct services to assist people on our streets, but we can help make sure that our nonprofit community is able to invest in the people with the skills and expertise to assist our unsheltered folks in transitioning from the streets to stable housing and thriving lives,” she said.
Second on the list is a hard push for mental health resources such as CAHOOTS, Whitebird and other opportunities through the state. She acknowledged the huge role mental health, and sometimes drug use plays in the unhoused community.
“As part of our long-term response to homelessness, we joined with Lane County to invest in a permanent shelter, provide navigation services, and improve outreach to serve people where they are,” Vinis said.
Lastly, she said they will prioritize the public's safety when it relates to the homeless population. vinis mentioned openly aggressive unhoused groups in certain parts of town.
“Addiction to meth, in particular, prevents people from stabilizing their lives and precipitates behavior that negatively impacts the safety and quality of life in some of our neighborhoods,” she added.
The city of Eugene will continue to move forward with it's housing initiatives including their rest stops, microsites, and safe sleeping areas in hopes they will change the unhoused community for the better.
Tonight's meeting also provided an opportunity for several awards to be given out, as well as words from different members of the community, and the city council.