Support for Unhoused
Updated January 26, 2021
Temporary Urban Camping
In order to support community health during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Eugene has temporarily adjusted its enforcement process around prohibited camping in order to help people maintain recommended physical distancing while reducing the need to move around the community. These adjustments align with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, Oregon Health Authority, and Lane County Public Health. Learn about these adjustments to allow for temporary urban camping.
Reopening and Recovery
We know COVID-19 created a new landscape for providing services to people experiencing homelessness. As Lane County moves through the Governor’s phased reopening, we are shifting from responding to the outbreak to supporting community reopening and recovery. Our goal is to balance the varying needs for safety and recovery.
Microsites support our community’s reopening by balancing the varying needs for safety and recovery for the unhoused community.
The City established its second microsite on land provided by the Eugene Mission at no cost and managed by Community Supported Shelters. The first microsite was established at Skinner City Farm.
As part of the City’s emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the City worked with non-profit social service providers to establish designated temporary shelter sites to provide emergency shelter options to unhoused community members in three community center parking lots. These shelter sites gave people experiencing homelessness a safe and sanitary place to live, while reducing the need for the residents to move around the community. Watch a video highlighting the positive impact of the designated temporary shelter sites.
New microsites will continue to provide needed shelter, stability and support for vulnerable members of our community and demonstrate the collaborative efforts underway to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness.
Efforts to address chronic homelessness continue as the City works with Lane County toward the development of 350 new permanent supportive housing units, a 75-bed low barrier emergency shelter, and the addition of trained outreach teams.
Neighborhoods, organizations, or businesses interested in hosting or sponsoring a microsite can contact City of Eugene Homeless Services Staff at 541-682-8442. Read more about microsites.
At the onset of the pandemic, we distributed over 70 portable restrooms and about 60 hand washing stations throughout the community to support sanitation and hygiene needs during the Governor’s Stay Home executive order. While these were removed in late June after Lane County moved into Phase 2, the City is redistributing sanitation stations, consisting of both a portable restroom and handwashing station, to continue supporting hygiene needs during the ongoing pandemic. You can locate the sanitation stations through our online mapping system.
Mobile Outreach Teams
During the initial response to the pandemic and in support of the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives order, the City stood up mobile outreach teams to reach out to people sheltering where they were, monitor community health, provide COVID-19 education and essential hygiene needs, and give appropriate referrals to services. While the teams were disbanded as Lane County shifted to Phase 2 Reopening, we are working on building a longer-term outreach team as previously envisioned in the Lane County Shelter Feasibility Study.
Response Efforts Accomplished with Critical Community Partnerships
The efforts to respond quickly to mobilize a pandemic response for the safety and wellbeing of all community members was accomplished with the incredible support of the critical community partnerships that made this work possible – including partners like White Bird Clinic, Carry It Forward, Occupy Medical, Community Supported Shelters, Food for Lane County and St. Vincent DePaul. They deserve a great deal of credit and thanks for supporting the most vulnerable people in the community.