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City Club of Eugene: Ending Homelessness in Eugene: All Hands on Deck

 Tents on sidewalk with a sign reading "homeless, need help, God bless"
Brian Bull

Program date: July 28, 2023
Air date: July 31, 2023

From the City Club of Eugene:

Rare, brief, and nonrecurring. These are the words used to describe homelessness in communities that have worked to end it.

These are not the words used to describe homelessness in Eugene. At least, not yet.

In 2019, an analysis of federal data confirmed that Eugene had the worst per capita homelessness rate in the nation, ahead of both Los Angeles (#2) and New York City (#3).

In comparison with other US cities, Eugene has 432 people experiencing homelessness per 100,000 people in population. (Oregon’s rate overall is 350 per 100,000 people.) According to Lane County, 4,531 people were experiencing homelessness county-wide in June 2023—and just over 3,600 of those people were living in unsheltered conditions.

Spurred on by the visible harms caused by homelessness and public safety concerns, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has been working to better understand the homelessness crisis during the past few years, including interviews with more than 150 community stakeholders, outreach to experts across the country, engagement across sectors, and authoring a report, The State of Our Homelessness Crisis, in September 2021.

This City Club program shares recommendations from the Chamber’s research, introduce a cross-sector effort to formalize “One Regional Plan” to end homelessness, and offer insight from nonprofit sector leaders regarding our current supply of affordable housing and resources. A shared vision and innovative action are needed if homelessness is to be rare, brief and non-recurring in Eugene. What will it take to get all hands on deck?


Burley Design’s Owner and CEO Mike Coughlin is a Eugene entrepreneur, housing developer, and a past board president of Cornerstone Community Housing (Metropolitan Affordable Housing). He is a member of the Chamber’s Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness, and his passion for creating affordable housing in our community goes back several decades.

Brittany Quick-Warner: As a key representative for businesses and employers in the Eugene Area, Brittany works to promote and strengthen our community through a prosperous economy and business sector. She leads the strategic vision of the organization in partnership with the Board of Directors, and has been the President & CEO of the Eugene Chamber since 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

About the City Club of Eugene:

The mission of the City Club of Eugene is to build community vision through open inquiry. The Club explores a wide range of significant local, state, and national issues and helps to formulate new approaches and solutions to problems. Membership is open to all, and Club members have a direct influence on public policy by discussing issues of concern with elected officials and other policy makers. The City Club’s mailing address is PO Box 12084, Eugene, OR 97440, and its website is cityclubofeugene.org.

Video and Broadcast

This program will be live streamed, and the videotape will be made available on the City Club of Eugene’s Facebook page and You Tube Channel, in addition to our website. It will be broadcast on Monday, July 31, 2023 at 7:00 pm, on KLCC 89.7 FM.

Contact: For more information, visit CityClubOfEugene.org.

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