Local Officials Fund Essential Services For Area Homeless

Jan 13, 2020

With homelessness reaching what one official calls “epidemic proportions,” the City of Eugene and Lane County have jointly come up with additional funding to keep two services operational. 

A homeless encampment along E. 6th Avenue in Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

First, the Dusk to Dawn overnight shelter has been expanded through $257,000.  Jason Davis of Lane County Health and Human Services says capacity will go from 192 to 250 people per night.

A November 2017 photo of the Dusk to Dawn camp in the northern area of Eugene.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“That’s really great news for folks this time of year who are just looking for a warm place to stay,” Davis tells KLCC. “And then we are also extending the services that help connect people to additional support. Things like warm clothes, onto wait lists for other services, etc.

“And that can mean difference between a very, very cold night and getting the help you need.  And sometimes even life and death for some folks.”

A homeless person sits on a snowy corner near the downtown area, bundled up in blankets.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

And through $91,000, the Eugene Service Station will also maintain its current business hours to provide transients with basic needs. This offsets a projected shortfall that would’ve led to a cut in hours.

“We have a bigger issue at hand with how to go upstream on the homelessness problem, and try to create systems which help people stay away from homelessness, that we can stabilize lives,” continues Davis.

“But in the interim, it’s vital that we take care of those folks who experiencing it right now…that’s what this is all about.”  

Meanwhile, local officials are continuing to implement a 10-point plan which includes building more supportive housing units and a 75-bed shelter.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.