Local Groups Expand Emergency Shelter for Lane County's Homeless Population

Nov 16, 2016

As temperatures drop and rain increases, homeless people in Lane County will find more opportunities for shelter than year's past. But local non-profits say it may not be enough.

Credit Saint Vincent de Paul

Paul Neville is with St. Vincent De Paul of Lane County. He says more emergency shelters are now available for the winter. But he adds the homeless population is growing at an alarming rate.

Neville: "We’re seeing a large number of homeless—perhaps the largest we've seen in decades—on the streets of Eugene."

Neville says rising home prices, stagnant income, and declining government services for mental illness and addiction all contribute to the increase. He says this year St. Vinny's, with help from the County, has been able to add 60 beds to the Dusk Till Dawn program. But people have still been turned away.

Neville says St. Vinny's partnered with Eugene Mission to provide temporary housing for families. Also, on nights the temperature drops below 30 degrees, Egan Warming centers provide a place to sleep and a meal for those who otherwise would be on the street.