County May Allow Huts For Homeless People On Fairgrounds Property

Dec 16, 2019

Lane County may allow a small camp for people who are homeless on the fairgrounds in Eugene. 

The three Conestoga huts would be placed in the northwest corner of the Lane County Fairgrounds property.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The idea was brought to the Lane County Board of Commissioners by community members. Commissioner Pat Farr says it would be 3 Conestoga huts-- semi-hard-wall structures that resemble prairie wagons on the northwest edge of the fair property. Farr says the county is in talks with the non-profit Community Supported Shelters to screen the residents and manage the camp.

The proposal is to have three Conestoga huts on the fairgrounds property. The project would be managed by Community Supported Shelters.
Credit Community Supported Shelters

“And the thing that I am hoping for is that we can demonstrate to people who live in neighborhoods, not just in Eugene but the entire metropolitan area, that this is not an undesirable situation. That it is a demonstration project to show that it can be managed well and fit in with the neighborhood that it’s placed in.”

Farr says not everyone on the Board of Commissioners or Fair board supports the proposal and there are still details to be sorted out before the camp is approved. 

Note: This story originally reported that the idea came from members of Jefferson Westside Neighborhood Association, but a member of that organization says it was actually the Westside Shelter Search Team and Jay Mosely who originally advocated for the proposal to provide a camp for homeless people on the Lane County Fairgrounds.