With Winter Close At Hand, Where Will The Homeless Sleep?
With Oregon temperatures getting colder, efforts to find havens for Eugene's homeless are heating up. KLCC's Claude Offenbacher spoke with Community Alliance of Lane County's Michael Carrigan Tuesday. He asked Carrigan about the role CALC, Nightingale Sanctuary and others are playing to help secure safe places to sleep this winter for a few dozen of the estimated 1700 County people on the streets:
The Eugene City Council this week heard from Carrigan and the Raging Grannies, a social activism group. They urged the city to lift the ban on homeless camping in City parks.
Carrigan says he realizes this is unlikely, as Council members are concerned about assuring full public access to its parks, so he's asking the City…
(Carrigan) "…in the very least to modify the camping ban so we can set up some rest stops this winter so folks can camp and sleep through the cold winter months."
Two rest stops serving a few dozen already exist.
Carrigan is also meeting with the Eugene Police this week to…
(Carrigan) "… urge them to lighten up and not be arresting people or giving them tickets. It's hard for them, because their job is to enforce the law."
Sleeps, Safe Legal Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep, started protesting the camping ban in 2012. Two years later, the issue of how to accommodate the homeless continues.