Lane County has begun dispersing Pallet shelters to its cities, including loaning several to smaller communities. The temporary structures are part of an effort to increase non-congregate shelter options for the unhoused.
The county purchased 120 shelters for about $888,000 from a company called "Pallet" based in Everett, Washington, according to county spokesperson Devon Ashbridge. The 8 foot by 8 foot shelters are easy to set up, are single occupancy, and can be re-used, she said.
“48 'Pallet' shelters have been placed in rural communities around the county, 20 in Florence," Ashbridge said, "Cottage Grove, Oakridge, and Veneta all have either the 'Pallet' structures set up, or are expecting them to arrive shortly, so we’re getting those out into our rural communities.”
The county plans to place 70 shelters in the Eugene-Springfield area Ashbridge added. She said this is just one resource the county’s tapping this year, and that it will take a variety of strategies and partnerships to be most effective.
Shelter options for the unhoused have been especially challenging for the county and providers in part because of COVID-19 guidelines.
Copyright KLCC, 2020