City Club of Eugene: The Impacts of Homelessness

21 hours ago

Recorded On: November 8, 2019

Air Date: November 11, 2019

From the City Club of Eugene:

This City Club presentation examines the issue of homelessness through economic, social, and political lenses. For every person who is unhoused, what are the costs to our community, whether in taxpayer dollars or the lost opportunity of recruiting businesses downtown? How do disagreements about the root causes of homelessness impede policy design, as public servants and elected officials debate whether an overpriced housing market or challenging personal circumstances contribute more significantly to the crisis? What kind of return on community investment do we lose with every youth who experiences chronic homelessness?

Bob Cerince provides a brief review of Lane County’s recently convened Community Impact Kickoff, where elected officials, social service providers, city and county staff, and homeless advocates gathered to discuss next steps in implementing recommendations from the TAC Report.

Wakan Alferes, Marc Douthit and Chris Skinner participate in a panel discussion about some dimensions of this problem, including:

  • Historic community costs associated with homelessness — e.g. health services, sanitation, criminal justice, welfare payments, and repairing infrastructure deterioration
  • Regulating costs while implementing best practices for a Housing First approach
  • Funding streams for the types of housing recommended by the TAC Report, including the limitations/parameters of each
  • Alternative housing and shelter options, including new funding sources
    Focus on recovery as part of a long-term strategy to end homelessness

Copyright KLCC, 2019