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Eugene City Council considers extending Safe Sleep Sites

SAFE_SLEEP.jpg
courtesy of St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County
The new Safe Sleep site is at 410 Garfield St. in Eugene.

Eugene City Council is discussing whether to renew an ordinance that created Safe Sleep Sites for the unhoused to camp in tents or cars. The ordinance created in April of last year is set to expire in May 2023.

There are currently five Safe Sleep Sites in operation.

If it seems early to be discussing an ordinance that expires next year, the City’s Kelly McIver says it’s not, because of the way these sites fit into the network.

“That would create quite a change for things and require a lot of adjustment,” he said.

McIver says the Council is trying to act on the spirit of the community with its approach.

“That Eugene is a place that cares about its neighbors and its visitors. And wants to provide a safe, livable environment for people here,” said McIver. “Including members of the community who may be unhoused.”

He also points out that if not for Safe Sleep Sites, these community members would likely be out on the street. And the centralized locations keep social service workers from having to go throughout the city to assist people.

During the City Council Meeting on July 18, council members heard public comment on extending the Safe Sleep Sites ordinance.

“It would be nice when we eventually get to the day when the safe sleep sites aren’t needed,” said City Councilor Randy Groves (Ward 8). “But right now I really feel that they are needed to give people a place to go and to help restore order to our streets and our parks.”

Copyright @2022, KLCC.

Aubrey Bulkeley joined KLCC in January 2019. She co-created FLUX podcast, a three-part series to accompany award-winning UO School of Journalism and Communication publication, FLUX Magazine. Bulkeley finished her Master's degree in Journalism at the University of Oregon in June 2019.
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