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Homeless Advocates And Friends Remember Eugene Woman Who Died This Week

The homeless community of Eugene is mourning the death of Carrie Lucinda Miller, known fondly by friends as “Mama Carrie”. KLCC’s Brian Bull reports.  

Miller died Tuesday morning on the front porch of the White Bird Clinic near the downtown.  She was 58.  The cause of death is undetermined.

Kate Gillespie, the clinic’s interim coordinator, says “Mama Carrie” was well known by many here.

“Carrie was a mother of the folks in the un-housed community," says Gillespie.  "There’s been a really big outpouring of grief surrounding Carrie’s passing.  It’s brought up attention to the lack of shelter, definitely a need that we could do a better job filling.” 

Outside the clinic, two friends of Miller – self-identified as “Stephanie” and “David” -- share their thoughts.

“My old cat and I were homeless there for a little while, and we ran across her and she showed me some of the ropes ‘cuz I’d never been homeless before," says Stephanie.  "She was sometimes a little bossy.  But I love you Carrie, God bless ya!”

“She was a great person, and had a big heart! But when she’d get drunk she’d get a little ornery," adds David.  

"That’s okay.  And she actually cared for the people around her.” 

A public memorial service for “Mama Carrie” will be held at noon Wednesday at the Central Presbyterian Church.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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