Local Collaboration Creates Space For Unhoused In Eugene

Jul 3, 2020

As Lane County continues to re-open, temporary COVID-19 shelters for the unhoused are closing down. In response, the City of Eugene collaborated with the Eugene Mission and Community Supported Shelters to create a second microsite located in the Whiteaker neighborhood.

This is an example of a Designated Temporary Shelter Sites (DTSS) the City of Eugene created in response to COVID-19 which are being phased out as Lane County re-opens. However, the City of Eugene is establishing microsites in their place. The second site began hosting unhoused people on Thursday, July 2, 2020. According to City of Eugene's Brian Richardson, the site currently has tents on raised platforms, but will eventually have Conestoga style huts.
Credit City of Eugene

 

Eugene Mission provided the land at no cost while CSS and the City are sharing infrastructure and staffing costs.

 

In contrast to other options, the microsite has individual housing for a limited number of people. Executive Director Sheryl Balthrop explained why the mission joined this collaboration.

 

:14 “Some folks cannot live in a congregate living environment, so we are delighted to try to support other community partners when they are trying to serve in other ways. And so this is just six more people who have a dry and safe place to stay.”

 

According to the City, sites like this reduce the need for people to move around. They also address COVID-19 health concerns by providing a sanitary cooking area and personal hygiene facilities. 

 

For more information visit www.eugene-or.gov/homelessness. Here is a video highlighting the positive impact of the designated temporary shelter sites. 

 

Neighborhoods, organizations, or businesses interested in hosting or sponsoring a microsite can contact City of Eugene Homeless Services Staff at 541-682-8442.