Opportunity Village

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.

Embracing Opportunity: The Story of Johnny 'Awesome'

Apr 2, 2015
Joshua Gurnick

EUGENE, Ore. -- Any given Saturday, Jonathan Elsworth can be found in front of the Lane County courthouse in Eugene, drumming and dancing in a community drum circle. Saturday Market goers gather around to take in the sights and sounds of the eclectic group. This is a passion for Elsworth, providing him with an escape from the challenges of daily life.

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. 

The Common Good's Tumbler page.

Students at the University of Oregon and volunteers with Opportunity Village are unveiling a new mobile workspace Saturday (today). This weekend, it will be parked at the transitional housing community to allow residents to maintain dwellings and fix bicycles.

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.

Desmond O'Boyle

An anonymous donor from Eugene has stepped forward with $400,000 to purchase property for a homeless camp in the city.

The $400,000 will be used to buy a piece of private property to create a place for homeless people to sleep. The donor has also asked that a health clinic be on site for residents and others in need.

Attorney Mary Broadhurst is a homeless advocate who's worked with SLEEPS and residents of the recently shuttered illegal Whoville camp. She says she's grateful.

Tiffany Eckert

Homelessness came to the forefront locally two years ago when members of Occupy Eugene put the issue at the top of their list of concerns. Since then, advocates have continued to press for safe places for people to sleep. The new "Opportunity Village" is a pilot program aimed at giving people a second chance.  Its grand opening is Saturday (October 5, 2013.)