homeless

Pearl Wolfe

On January 28th, advocates and volunteers from 28 agencies conducted the annual homeless count in Lane County. They hit the streets and parks, looked under bridges, and checked in with shelters and churches. Lane County Human Services released the numbers Tuesday.

At one point in time, 1,473 un-housed people were counted. These are the “literally homeless” who stay in emergency transitional shelters or locations not meant for habitation-- like cars or doorways.

Amanda Butt

Living on the street is difficult for anyone to do, but surviving without walls presents even greater dangers to women.

On a Saturday morning, a church in Corvallis fills slowly with people looking to fill their stomachs with warm breakfast food. Within the crowd is Marge Pettitt, a homeless activist in the community. She is friendly and repeatedly stops eating to give hugs to people she knows. But when she’s on the street, she’s cautious whenever she comes across strangers.

Egan Warming Center

As temperatures are expected to drop this evening to the upper 20's in Lane County, Egan Warming Center locations will be activated. All Egan volunteers are asked to check in through the Egan Warming Center website.  There is also a new site opening tonight at Lane Community College. For more information call (541) 689-6747, or visit eganwarmingcenter.com.

And Cottage Grove's Beds for Freezing Night Coalition are activating their warming center located at the Perpetual Help Catholic Church.

541-968-3357

Willamette Riverkeepers

Rising water and colder temperatures have driven many illegal campers from the banks of the Willamette River. Behind, they leave a remarkable amount of trash. Recently, 50 volunteers got together to clean up a one-mile stretch of river in Eugene. 

Volunteers are walking the riverbank along the railroad tracks off Franklin Blvd., and removing anything that doesn't belong. It's no easy task. The nearly 2 tons of trash collected by volunteers includes soiled mattresses and broken television sets. And that's just the debris they could touch.

UPDATE: Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014 11:20 A.M.:

The Egan Warming Centers confirmed they are activated for tonight, Saturday. But they will NOT be open on Sunday and Monday nights because the overnight temperatures will not be cold enough.

Those needing to get to a Warming Center tonight can ride LTD for free - just tell the driver you need to get to a warming center.  St Vincent de Paul will provide shuttle service from the First Christian parking lot behind the church to other sites from about 5:30 pm- 8:30 pm.

Tiffany Eckert

In 2013, nearly 2 thousand people in Lane County didn't have a place to sleep at night.

sworegonarchitect

With Oregon temperatures getting colder, efforts to find havens  for  Eugene's homeless are heating up.  KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke with Community Alliance of Lane County's Michael Carrigan Tuesday.  He asked Carrigan about the role CALC, Nightingale Sanctuary and others are playing to help secure safe places to sleep this winter for a few dozen of the estimated 1700 County people on the streets:

The Eugene City Council this week heard from Carrigan and the Raging Grannies, a social activism group.  They urged the city to lift the ban on homeless camping in City parks. 

lanecounty.org

Lane County's new Poverty and Homeless Board recently met for the first time. The 17 member panel is charged with finding solutions to persistent homeless problems.

Last year Lane County Board of Commissioners formed the board following the removal of two homeless camps in Eugene. The board consists of elected officials, community leaders, and a formerly homeless person. Lane County Human Services spokeswoman Pearl Wolfe is excited for the diversity of board members.

Desmond O'Boyle

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.

Rachael McDonald

Advocates for the Eugene homeless encampment known as Whoville are pushing for an extension of a deadline to close down the camp.  They expect the City will begin the process of evicting residents Tuesday.

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