Homelessness Continues To Be Big Challenge In Lane County

Jan 6, 2020

In his State of the County address Monday, Lane County Commissioner Pete Sorenson highlighted the ongoing challenge of homelessness. He also lauded some accomplishments from the past year.

Pete Sorenson is the chair of the Lane County Board of Commissioners. He delivered the "State of the County" address Monday.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency for homelessness in Lane County last year. Sorenson says the county is working to expand shelter and services for people who are homeless. Ground was broken on MLK Commons, a 51-bed facility for people who are chronically homeless.

“We’ve also substantially increased our funding for the dusk to dawn program that we partner with St. Vincent de Paul on, Egan Warming Centers and other things to try to alleviate this huge increase in homelessness.”

Last year’s point in time count found more than 2,100 people who are unsheltered in Lane County. The next count is later this month. Sorenson said on the good news side, Lane County’s bond rating has gone up and its wellness efforts have helped to make county employees healthier.

Pete Sorenson has served on the Lane County Board of Commissioners for 23 years. He doesn't plan to run again in 2020. He is the longest serving Commissioner on the Lane County Board. 

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