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Breakfast Brigade receives permit for Washington Jefferson Park

Lisa Levson, left, said
Nathan Wilk
Breakfast Brigade volunteer Lisa Levsen, left, said she was not expecting an easy meeting with the city, but she was pleasantly surprised.

A Eugene nonprofit that feeds the homeless has received a permit to operate in a city park, ending months of dispute.

The Breakfast Brigade serves free meals four days a week in Washington Jefferson Park. Volunteers previously accused local officials of pressuring them to stop.

In June, the Eugene Police Department warned volunteers to leave under the threat of citation or arrest.

Kelly Shadwick with Eugene Parks and Open Space told KLCC the city never intended to deny volunteers a permit, but there was a misunderstanding following renovations to the park.

This month, the city granted organizers a spot further away from the basketball courts and skate park.

“It was a huge relief for our volunteers and our organizers to know that we would be able to just get back to doing what we do best, which is feeding and clothing the hungry and giving them resources that they need," said Lisa Levsen, a Breakfast Brigade volunteer and board member.

Levsen said the new location provides better protection from the sun and rain. The permit will be renewed through the end of next year.

Shadwick said the city will continue to check in to make sure park rules are followed, but officials are not currently worried.

"We have a good working relationship with the Breakfast Brigade," she said. "We are glad that we have found a place that works for both their needs as well as the park's."

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.
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