Vinis: City Invested Time, Now Needs To Invest Money

Jan 9, 2020

Mayor Lucy Vinis awarded the 2020 Bold Steps Award to representatives of Yogi Tea Wednesday evening at the Hult Center. Members of the City Council are seated on the stage.
Credit Karen Richards

Each of Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis’s State of the City addresses has discussed housing and homelessness. Vinis highlighted those topics again Wednesday night, noting that several plans developed in 2019 will take shape in 2020. 

Mayor Vinis emphasized “investment” throughout her speech, in reference to the time the City Council has taken to understand complex issues, and the money any changes will require. She said after a year of studying homelessness:

Vinis: “In 2020, we will establish a low-barrier shelter, implement mobile outreach teams, develop a landlord engagement program.”

The homelessness plan is set to roll out over five years. Vinis emphasized that the City’s wish list is bigger than its budget, and there will need to be some compromises. 

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Vinis also said Eugene has lacked adequate public safety for decades and acknowledged the troubles some businesses have had with vandalism and trespassing. 

Vinis: “A year of work brought council to a decisive and courageous vote to approve a payroll tax to support expansion of our public safety services.”

The tax revenue won’t be available until January, 2021. It will finance more police officers and first responders, and support at-risk youth. She said Lane County and the City will work together to establish a mental health crisis center.