Social Justice

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.

Lane County

Lane County is one of thirteen jurisdictions across the nation chosen to implement a new juvenile justice program model. It’s designed to reduce the number of youth who “crossover” between child welfare and the juvenile justice system.

“At any time we have between 400 and 500 youth somewhere in our system.”

That’s John Aarons. He’s been working with Lane County Youth Services for nearly 30 years. In his view, the newly launched Crossover Youth Practice Model will help formalize an important partnership.

Karen Richards

Late Tuesday afternoon, gay rights supporters in seven cities around Oregon gathered for a vigil ahead of a landmark court case.  A federal judge in Eugene will hear oral arguments Wednesday afternoon challenging the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Eugene resident Clark Compton has been volunteering with the pro-same-sex marriage group Oregon United for Marriage for the past year.  

Karen Richards

Wednesday's federal hearing on Oregon's same-sex marriage ban will go ahead as scheduled, after a Eugene judge today denied a motion to postpone by opponents.  

The Oregon Attorney General announced back in February that the state would not defend the voter-approved Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.  The state said the ban would not stand up to a federal equal rights challenge. 

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.

Community Supported Shelters

Earlier this month police broke up a high profile homeless camp in Eugene called Whoville. The people who lived there said they felt safe and part of a community. The city has established a pilot program for legal camping. They're called"rest stops". So far there are two. They're creating community for people who need a sense of connection.

de Buhr: "…how are things going?"

Jes Burns

This month, the City of Eugene’s Human Rights Office, in conjunction with the Eugene Police Department, released a report documenting bias-based incidents and criminal activity in our Community.  It found there were 55 incidents reported in 2013 – ranging from acts of physical violence to vandalism targeting people based on race, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, and religion.

KLCC’s Jes Burns speaks with Michael Kinnison, manager of the Eugene Equity and Human Rights Office.

Rachael McDonald

Eugene Police surrounded an illegal homeless camp known as Whoville Friday morning and told the 30 or so residents to pack up and go. The City Council gave an April 15th deadline for the site to close.

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.

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.

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