homeless

Egan Warming Centers Open Sunday, February 22nd.

Feb 22, 2015
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.

Desmond O'Boyle

The Eugene City Council voted to open another homeless rest stop at a work session Monday evening.  The move comes after residents of the illegal homeless camp known as Whoville objected to a previously-approved site near the Whiteaker.

Rachael McDonald

Homeless advocates say a grassy area between a busy highway and the main line railroad in north Eugene is not a good place for the residents of Whoville. The City Council last week voted to approve a 3rd pilot "rest stop" for the people who've been at a camp near downtown for months.

It's a narrow piece along Northwest Expressway, near its intersection with River Road. No sidewalks. As vehicles whiz by, Ken Lainy sits in his wheelchair on a gravel driveway.

Meeting Date: February 28, 2014

Air Date: March 3, 2014

Organizations in our community are not only concerned about people who are homeless, they are taking concrete steps to create housing for vulnerable families and individuals. ShelterCare is a local nonprofit, organized more than four decades ago to serve homeless families. For a quarter-century, the organization has been providing transitional support for families leaving shelter. Their focus is on families, persons with mental illness, and those with brain injuries.

Desmond O'Boyle

The Eugene City Council voted Monday night to extend the pilot rest stop program, designed to provide the city’s homeless with temporary shelter on city-owned property.

City of Eugene.

The Eugene City Council plans to extend its sunset date for a program that allows homeless people to camp in designated 'rest-stops'. This means Whoville residents have more time at their camp near downtown.

Recorded on: January 17, 2014

Air Date: January 20, 2014

Desmond O'Boyle

Eugene City Councilors Monday proposed extending the sunset date on the rest-stop ordinance until October 31, 2014. This will require a public hearing.

Councilor Claire Syrett says she'd like the city to add a third rest-stop for homeless people at 8th and Mill or another location near downtown. Residents of Whoville, a homeless camp at West Broadway and Hilyard in Eugene have been told they'll have to leave that site. Last Friday, police erected a fence with openings around the lot. Michael Adams was among those who testified to council.

Whoville Residents Have Mixed Feelings About Fence

Jan 25, 2014
Desmond O'Boyle

Residents of the Eugene homeless camp referred to as Whoville have mixed feelings about a new chain link fence. The Eugene Police Department set up the barrier Friday and left two openings for people to pass through. Some, like Whoville resident Marty, say they feel safer with the fence up.

KLCC Staff

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy will not use her executive powers to declare the Whoville homeless camp legal.  

Advocates had been asking the mayor to declare an emergency in order to legalize the encampment at West Broadway and Hilyard in Eugene. Instead, Piercy said in a statement issued late Friday, she will ask the Eugene City Council on Monday to extend the pilot “rest stop” program, clearing the path for a second site.  

Rachael McDonald

Homeless advocates are calling on Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy to use her executive power to declare a housing emergency so a homeless camp can remain. The group held a press conference Thursday at Whoville.

Rachael McDonald

The City of Eugene Friday posted "no trespassing" signs at a homeless camp near downtown that calls itself Whoville. The community of around 30 people has been living in tents at Hilyard and Broadway since September.

Eugene Police Sergeant Larry Crompton came to the camp to talk with residents and explain what's going on:

Crompton: "The signs that are up right now say 'prohibited camping' and those will be changed to 'no trespassing'. And there will come a time in the near future when there will be notice that  the people here will have to leave."

Several dozen homeless advocates spoke at Monday's Eugene City Council Meeting urging councilors to allow Whoville residents to remain at their camp near downtown. The camp is made up of about 50 homeless people in tents, who've been at Hilyard and West Broadway for a couple of months. There's fear the camp will be closed once the city opens it's pilot "rest stop" later this month at another location. Laura O'Hannion was among the speakers who asked that Whoville remain open.

Egan Warming Center

Eugene's Egan Warming Center will open Tuesday night. With temperatures forecast to drop into the teens, the agency is bracing for a long activation. But there's concern it might not be able to accommodate everyone.

Egan Warming Center is a network of churches that open their doors to homeless people on cold winter nights. St. Vincent de Paul operates the center. Executive Director Terry McDonald says they're looking for additional places-- especially at the end of the week.

Rachael McDonald

Last year, more than 18 thousand Oregon students were homeless at some time during the school year.
The State Department of Education released its annual homeless count of K-12 students last week. KLCC's Rachael McDonald met with a woman who's homeless and has 4 kids in school.

Brown: "Hi guys, welcome home…"

Egan Warming Center Looking for More Room

Nov 22, 2013
Egan Warming Center

The Egan Warming Center had to scramble Thursday to find another site. With temperatures below freezing the shelter was overwhelmed, but the vacant Parker Elementary opened its doors.

Only twice over the past five years has the Egan Center needed to move so quickly to find another place for the homeless people seeking refuge from the cold. Thursday night, one of their usual shelters was unavailable. Program Director Doug Bales says the elementary school was found through a group effort.

Project Homeless Connect

In an effort to attract more people, the Benton County Project Resource Connect has dropped the word "homeless" from the name of their event.
 

Nationwide, homeless connect events are held as a one-stop shop for people needing assistance accessing services. Benton County Project Coordinator Johanna Peerenboom says they've dropped the word "homeless" from the title of their event.

albanyvisitors.com

The city of Albany has been coping with more people panhandling lately-- but the number of people who are homeless there remains steady.

In 2006, Albany closed a homeless camp in one of its parks. Since then, homeless advocates have been meeting annually to discuss services for those who are in need.

Marilyn Smith is spokeswoman for the City of Albany. She says they're hoping more members of the general public will attend Wednesday's summit.

City of Eugene

Monday night, the Eugene City Council approved two locations for homeless people to pitch their tents. Although the city has some work to do first, volunteer organizations say they are ready to go.

The council voted 6 to 2 to allow campsites on Chambers Street at Northwest Expressway and Roosevelt Boulevard near Garfield. Michael Wisth is with the City of Eugene.

Wisth: "We have no set timeline but we are trying to work quickly to roll out a template for agreements with any group that will be managing the site."

Rachael McDonald

Homeless activists have made headlines in Eugene since the Occupy movement of 2011 brought issues of income inequality to the forefront. There aren't enough shelter beds for the nearly 2000 homeless people in the area. For several months different groups have set up tent camps on public property trying to bring awareness to the problem. They say safe, legal places to sleep are a human right that the city is violating with its camping ban.

Hurlburt: "My name is Tod Hurlburt. Here in the camp, they call me Tinman."

Meeting:  October 11, 2013
Aired on KLCC:  October 13, 2013

Guest Speakers: Alley Valkyrie, activist and community organizer; Pat Farr, Lane County Commission; and

Professor Ofer Raban, University of Oregon School of Law

The Springfield City Council voted unanimously to expand the car camping program for the homeless. It is modeled after one in Eugene. Churches and businesses have been allowed to have one car or motor home on site but can now have three. Niel Laudati is the city’s spokesman.

Laudati: “The city provides a portable toilet and we do some trash service. It’s very inexpensive for us. But it gives people a chance to rest in a safer place and it’s worked out so well.”

Rachael McDonald

Homeless people who've pitched their tents around town in small communities they're calling "Whovilles" met with the Mayor of Eugene Monday. The group wants the city to lift or change its camping ban.

Currently a group of about 30 people is camped at Hilyard and Broadway in Eugene. Whoville representatives met Mayor Kitty Piercy and asked her if they can stay there. Police have cited the campers for violating Eugene's camping ban.

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