In Its Third Year, "Dusk To Dawn" Gives More Homeless A Warm, Dry Overnight Stay

Nov 3, 2017

An overnight shelter program in Eugene has expanded, relocated, and started its third year.  But as KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the Dusk to Dawn camping program still faces high demand. 

James Weems smiles as he prepares to store his bike away and spend an evening out of the cold and rain.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Homeless selected by a lottery system wait to check in to the Dusk to Dawn camping program.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

A line of homeless people gather outside a check-in point near Highway 99.  Among them is James Weems, who needs a place to stay while he looks for work.

“We probably would’ve been in dire straits, we would’ve been looking for some type of safe camping site," he says. 

"And you know, the little tents, your own little tent, in real harsh weather, unless you find somewhere safe, it’s just not the way to go.” 

The tents for Dusk to Dawn are large, heated spaces with cots and storage lockers.  

Inside one of the army tents used for the Dusk to Dawn program.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Paul Neville is with St. Vincent de Paul, which runs the program.  He says capacity has grown from 20 to 80 people a night since it started in 2015, but there are still many needing refuge from the cold, damp weather.

“Unfortunately it looks already like we’re going to have a significant waiting list," Neville tells KLCC.

"Last year we had an average of 115 people on the waiting list every night.  Homelessness is a growth industry in Lane County, unfortunately.” 

A row of tents await occupants near Highway 99 in Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Dusk to Dawn residents were selected by lottery.  They can stay from 5pm to 7am, until March 31st. 

If a person misses two consecutive nights, someone on a waiting list may take their space.  Brian Bull, KLCC News.

Copyright 2017, KLCC.