Lane County Commissioners meet the new Navigation Center operators
Lane County Commissioners have hired Equitable Social Solutions, or ESS, to operate the new Navigation Center at 100 River Avenue in Eugene. The 75-bed, low-barrier shelter will help people experiencing homelessness transition to permanent housing.
Today the Commissioners questioned representatives of ESS. Here’s Commissioner Heather Buch: “I am generally highly skeptical of for profit, out-of-town entities coming in, especially for this most vulnerable population, I don’t want the community to see or have the perception that there’s any money to be made off our most vulnerable communities.”
Nicole Ganier of ESS said they’ve considered becoming a nonprofit, and emphasized they hire locally. Commissioner Berney asked how much of the $2-million dollar contract would stay in the community. Ganier responded, “100%,” noting her salary and others outside of the region will be paid for by the parent company.
The county has delayed welcoming residents to the Navigation Center as it works through liability questions. An official said a new date will be announced “shortly.”