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Politics & Government

Eugene Says Yes To Downtown Homeless Camp

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City of Eugene
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The City of Eugene is moving fast to create a temporary homeless camp on the vacant lot where City Hall once stood. On Monday, the City Council formally approved the plan.

Even before Emily Semple became a City Counselor, she advocated for a homeless “dusk to dawn” site near downtown. Now, her wish is coming to fruition. The council voted 7 to 1 (Mike Clark opposed) to open the shelter, possibly by mid-November. While initially designed for 38 people, Semple says it could eventually accommodate 60.

“We’re doing the right thing,” Semple says. “Some people aren’t going to like it. But some people don’t like whatever you do. And it has the potential to save lives and it has the potential to make downtown safer and more attractive for everybody.”

The empty block will be sectioned off with large tents for sleeping, a heated day center, dog kennels, and shipping containers for storage. The site will provide porta-potties, garbage and water. Semple says it is likely Saint Vincent de Paul will run the camp through spring.  

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