At 50, White Bird Is Growing...Along With Demand For Its Services

May 3, 2019

Expanded walk-in services and a telephone crisis line are part of White Bird Clinic’s new crisis center being developed near Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood.

Two workers prepare the foundation for a handicap-accessible ramp at White Bird's renovated facility on West 7th.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Two workmen are building the foundation for a new ramp at a renovated facility off of West 7th.  This site allows White Bird to increase its reach to west Eugene and western Lane County, while offering a safe space designed to minimize triggers for trauma victims.

Chris Hecht is the clinic’s Executive Coordinator. He says their dental program is going to expand its patient base by moving into a new building as well.

Chris Hecht, executive coordinator for the White Bird Clinic.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“Once dental moves, that opens up space and our medical clinic will be able to develop an urgent care walk-in, which is something that we’ve been hoping for, for years.”

Hecht says they’ve used their reserves to cover the expansion, which should be done in July.  A fundraising campaign for $350,000 will help cover remodeling costs.

All of this, says Hecht, is to meet growing demand for services.

“White Bird has a track record of identifying need, responding quickly, and serving the need," he tells KLCC. "In this case what we’re doing, is we’re leveraging existing, successful programs by expanding them, so that we can quickly ramp up and be able to do more for more people.”

Two CAHOOTS workers return to their vehicle after checking out calls of a disturbance.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Additionally, the latest City of Eugene budget will enable the CAHOOTS mobile crisis intervention service to extend its hours and geographic outreach.

Hecht says last year, White Bird staff recorded more than 13,000 client encounters, diverted over 600 emergency room visits, and served roughly 2,000 homeless people.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.