The Eugene Community Court is a program that aims to improve public safety and reduce illegal activity in the downtown core to improve the quality of life for everyone downtown. The Court is comprised of a team of justice system and social service professionals dedicated to collaborating on cases to reach practical solutions.
Representatives of several local social service agencies work with the Community Court team onsite to problem-solve with community members in need of assistance and connect them with services that will address their needs and help them move out of the criminal justice system and toward an improved quality of life.
Providing Free Sack Lunches To Participants Since September 2016
In addition to getting connected with needed social services, participants can get a free nutritional sack lunch. Free lunches have been coordinated by the Eugene Police Department and provided by local faith-based organizations since September 2016. Each organization has volunteered to provide sack lunches four or more times per year. In total, these organizations have provided over 1,900 lunches in the past year. Community Court Case Manager Melissa Cariño explains, “Waiting for your court appearance can be stressful enough in traditional courts. But the community court program functions very differently by focusing on community support and making the experience less intimidating. By providing lunches to our participants, community members are helping other community members.”
The City would like to thank the following organizations for their contribution to this important program: Baha’is of Eugene, Eugene Friends Church, Eugene Muslim Center, Fifth Avenue Church, Northwest Catholic Church, St. Mary Catholic Church, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church, The Father’s House, Unitarian Universalist Church of Eugene, United Lutheran Church.
As Community Court Judge Wayne Allen reports, “Time and time again I have seen the participants light up with surprise and appreciation when they learn of the lunch and delight when they see that it is a great lunch, not just a lunch. I also know it means a lot to them to know that the community joins in and cares about them. The lunches are not to be underestimated in terms of the total experience of Community Court and are very much appreciated by all of us.”
If you would like to get involved with the lunch program, please contact Carter Hawley at 541-682-5852, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are other ways to get involved. Community Courts rely on a number of volunteers and donations to assist in community integration and restoration. We are seeking community member volunteers to help support participants of Community Court. Please visit this link to learn more about Community Court and to access the volunteer application: https://www.eugene-or.gov/3337/Community-Court.
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