Creating More Safe Places to Sleep

Rendering of proposed safe sleeping tent site

The Eugene City Council on Wednesday, April 28, approved an ordinance to create more safe and lawful places for people to sleep. The ordinance allows for the temporary establishment of “safe parking” and “safe tent” sites that could provide options for individuals to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents. These sites will accommodate a larger number of vehicles or tents than previously allowed by code, up to 60 vehicles or up to 40 tents. The sites will be managed by social service providers who will be responsible for compliance with rules and community agreements, monitoring who is allowed to be on-site, coordinating ongoing site infrastructure needs, being accessible and responsive to neighbor concerns, and coordinating with the City and other partners.


The ordinance would remain in effect until May 1, 2023, unless extended.

  1. WJ Park & 13th Avenue
  2. Safe Sleeping Site Background

** Updated 9/14/2021

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Washington Jefferson Park

The most recent tent count is 234, down nine from last week. Gridding of the park between 5th and 6th avenues, 6th and 7th avenues, and from the railroad tracks to 5th Avenue has been completed. Gridding creates 12’x12’ spaces with 12’ between each. This allows for COVID-safe spacing, easier clean-ups, helps better track the number of campers present, facilitates emergency access, and keeps campsites at equitable sizes.  

 

Park staff have received largely positive feedback from campers about the gridding and the stabilization and separation of space that it creates. Parks and Open Space staff, as well as the crews with Public Works Engineering and Parks Planning who carried out the gridding, have gone to great lengths to help campers with mobility issues or other special considerations to relocate their campsites to the new gridded areas. Five-day per week trash removal continues to allow site monitors to focus on camper relations and managing abandoned property. Eugene Police assistance with enforcing park restrictions helped the gridding and cleanup operations go more smoothly. 


13th Avenue

The tent count this week is 68; no change. Site Monitors report the site has been stable, with many campers seeking alternative housing such as Community Supported Shelters Conestoga huts or shelter placements. Site Monitors started working weekends, allowing for increased interaction with campers and leading to decreased debris on Mondays. Also, EPD credits focused overnight patrols with reduced incidents. Police did make an arrest for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass from an incident at the site on Friday. Such incidents are not typical.  

Council Approves First Two Safe Sleep Sites and New Rest Stop

At its meeting on July 21, the Eugene City Council approved the first two Safe Sleep sites at Chase Commons Park and 2nd and Garfield. Once set up, these sites will be managed by social service providers and provide a space people experiencing homelessness to legally park their vehicles or sleep in tents. The goal of the sites is to provide safe, legal places for people experiencing homelessness to sleep and connect to services as well as reduce the impacts of unsanctioned camping across the city. 

In addition, the Council  approved a request to expand an existing site used for medical respite at the Eugene Service Station, allowing it to serve as an additional Rest Stop location that can serve up to 12 people at any one time. 

Following a review of more than 300 locations, vetting dozens of potential sites, and outreach efforts to understand community concerns staff A map of Eugene with stars marking the location of two new Safe Sleep sites.recommended and Council approved the first two Safe Sleep sites.

  • Chase Commons Park: This City owned property is approximately four acres in size. After initial neighborhood and business outreach, staff have drafted a site plan that will accommodate up to 20 Conestoga huts on a portion of the site. 
  • 2nd and Garfield: This property, owned by Lane Transit District (LTD) and located at 310 Garfield Avenue, is approximately five acres and could accommodate both tents and vehicles. Staff are working with local social service providers related to operating this site. Learn more in an FAQ about this site.

Staff continue to assess other properties for future Safe Sleep sites, including both public and private properties. Sites will continue to be evaluated further by the Planning and Development and Public Works departments to determine suitability for siting and compatibility with public use. Additional sites will come back to City Council for approval as quickly as possible.

Another round of outreach for each approved site will be conducted to share information with neighbors and stakeholders on the management plan, steps being taken to address concerns heard from the community, and contact information for the site.