In 2013, about 10,000 people in Lane County experienced homelessness. Although high, Lane County Human Services says this is an improvement from the previous year.
Nine thousand eight hundred fifty-six homeless people sought social services through Lane County last year. Human Services Supervisor Pearl Wolfe says the community at large is discouraged by the overwhelming nature of the issue. But, she says, this number is nearly 1000 lower than in 2012.
Wolfe: "And so I think the win is that we are doing work in various programs throughout this community – whether it be Eugene, Springfield, or Lane County – where people are getting some help that prevents them from becoming homeless."
Wolfe says the improving economy is also likely contributing to the decrease in homelessness.
In addition, this past January, Lane County Human Services conducted a one-night count of people taking refuge in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. They counted 667 people, which closely mirrors the number of beds available and is similar to the previous year's count. Wolfe says nearly half of those people were part of families with children.