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Health & Medicine

White Bird Medical Works Out Of City Property To Serve Homeless

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The City of Eugene is partnering with White Bird Clinic to provide a downtown location for primary care and behavioral health services to the unhoused.

 

The city leased this building on busy West 5th Avenue in 2019 with hopes of operating a day resource center. 

Peter Chavannes is a homeless services policy analyst with the city. He said COVID-19 changed their plans.

“We had a lot of empty space just because you can’t have congregate settings during a pandemic,” he said. “We really felt like with this asset we wanted to get as much use out of it as we could.”

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
White Bird's temporary clinic site in the City of Eugene's day resource center has one patient exam room as well as a telehealth system. Al Ullman has worked with White Bird for a year and a half. He likes working at this site

Enter White Bird Medical. The local non-profit needed a temporary home while they remodel their main clinic across town. Now here, they serve about 70 people a week. Many are new patients.

White Bird’s Al Ullman points across the street to the large tent encampment under the Washington-Jefferson bridge. 

“The most exciting part about this building was its location and how close it is to so many people who need these kinds of services,” Ullman said. “So we’re really happy to be here.”

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
A view of tent camps under the Washington Jefferson Bridge. White Bird's medical clinic is just blocks away.
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Credit Tiffany Eckert
An emergency vehicle is parked at the tent encampment located a block from White Bird's temporary clinic in a City of Eugene property.

Chavannes said White Bird is an asset at this location.

“We know that folks experiencing homelessness are spread throughout the city. And transportation is challenging and so the more dispersed we can have assets-- the broader our reach.” 

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Credit Tiffany Eckert
Peter Chavannes is a policy analyst in the Eugene City Manager's Office.

The temporary clinic is at 450 West 5th near the Whiteaker neighborhood where a many unhoused people live outside and need services.

Chavannes said the city pays the lease on the building. White Bird has requested to remain on the site until January. 

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