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Eugene Mayor Calls On Governor To Help Solve Homeless Crisis

Kyra Buckley

The Eugene City Council Wednesday approved a resolution to declare the urgency of the housing and homelessness crisis and ask Governor Kate Brown to help.

The problem cannot be solved by local government alone.

Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy says the number of homeless people in the community continues to grow and the city and county need help to address it. Eugene has pioneered programs including Opportunity Village and 5 Rest Stops that provide temporary shelter for un-housed people. Piercy says it's not enough.

Piercy: "The problem cannot be solved by local government alone. We need the entire state of Oregon, including the state agencies, the legislature and the governor's office to assist and support cities in our state that are on the forefront in dealing with this crisis, including Eugene and Portland."

The most recent one night count of homeless people in Lane County found 1,473 people. That number has actually gone down from previous years. But a recent survey found a more than 8 percent increase in homeless K through 12 students statewide.
In the short term, the mayor is seeking more overnight shelter beds for the winter.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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