Homelessness and Community Safety
Breaking the Cycle: Alternative Approaches for Law Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System
The City of Eugene has launched several programs that have goals to intervene and help people connect with resources to address underlying issues contributing to harmful or criminal behavior. These strategies ultimately save police and emergency resources.
Community Court is a program for those who have committed non-violent offenses in the downtown area.
Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets (CAHOOTS) provides mobile crisis intervention and is dispatched through the Police non-emergency communications center, which can be reached at 541-682-5111. Each team consists of a medic and crisis worker who provide immediate stabilization, assessment, referral, information, and advocacy.
The Community Outreach & Response Team (CORT) is a partnership between the Downtown Police team and White Bird. This team identifies top users of police resources in the downtown area and spends two days a week working with individuals to help them address underlying needs and barriers.
Community Safety System
The Community Safety System includes police, fire, 911, municipal court, and prevention and social services, all of which are interdependent and work together. The system has been under stress because growing need has continued to outpace capacity. The creative programs described above have been applied to this problem to maximize resources. However, the funding for these programs was limited.
Payroll Tax to Offer Longer-Term Solution
In June 2019, City Council passed a payroll tax ordinance to provide long-term funding.
The Community Safety Payroll Tax is expected to generate funding to provide faster, more efficient safety responses, deter crime, connect people to services, engage and help at-risk youth, support more investigations and court services, and add jail beds to reduce capacity-based releases and hold those who commit crimes accountable.
Community Safety Payroll Tax funding has been designated to go toward prevention and homelessness services including adding emergency shelters, a day resource center, and after school programs at Tier 1 schools.
At its work session on July 20, 2020, City Council directed the City Manager to convene engagement sessions with organizations representing communities of color to specify changes or additions to the Community Safety Initiative (CSI) that would best respond to the needs of their communities. Learn more about the Community Safety Initiative Engagement Sessions and how to participate.
City Manager's Office
101 West 10th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Eugene, OR 97401