homelessness

"Give Food, Give Love" Food Not Bombs in Eugene

2 hours ago

EUGENE, Ore. -- On Sunday afternoons near 8th Avenue and Oak Street, the Saturday Market block fills with people wearing backpacks or carrying bags of belongings. A diverse crowd of men and women, both old and young, is looking for a warm meal from Food Not Bombs, a national non-profit group.
 

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.

forestcamping.com

New camping rules for parts of the Umpqua National Forest near Cottage Grove go into effect today (Monday). Officials say long-term, homeless campers have created unsanitary conditions.

Camping along portions of Brice Creek and Sharps Creek will be limited to 14 days in a 45-day period. Melissa Swain is with the Cottage Grove Ranger District. She says the rule is changing because some campers have not kept clean sites:

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.

Corvallis Homeless Coalition

A group of non-profits in Corvallis is hoping to expand their efforts to provide permanent housing to homeless people in the community. They're focusing on "housing first", a model that's been successful in other cities.

Corvallis Housing First plans to build a permanent shelter on a site that's now a temporary warming center for men. Executive Director Gina Vee says focusing on *housing first can reduce rates of emergency room care and arrests for homeless people.

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.

Opportunity Village

The folks who created Opportunity Village Eugene, a pilot project that gives short-term shelter to people without homes, are now looking to branch out.  "Emerald Village" would provide long term housing at an affordable price.

Opportunity Village opened last August and is home to 31 people in micro-houses or Conestoga Huts. Reverend Dan Bryant is president of the Opportunity Village board. He says the spin-off would be for people who are ready to transition out of temporary shelter.

Angela Kellner

55-year-old John Baker has been homeless on and off for the past 5 years. While at a homeless shelter in Aspen, Colorado, he wrote a sitcom screenplay called "The Homeless Bums of Aspen." He spoke with KLCC's Angela Kellner about submitting the screenplay to NBC during their open call for sitcoms.

John Baker's song, "The Homeless Bums of Aspen" is on You Tube.

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.

Tiffany Eckert

An unexpected voice has come forward advocating for the homeless in Eugene. 10 year old cancer survivor Keegan Keppner has spent the last 4 months trying to change the way people treat those with no place to sleep. He's met with legislators and Governor John Kitzhaber. Now, Keegan is challenging members of the Eugene City Council to join him for a "sleepover" of sorts. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert spoke with the youngster about his unique proposal.

Keegan: "I'm gonna got to Mr. Ruiz…uh…where is he at dad?"

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