EUGENE, OR--Lane County and the City of Eugene officially opened the River Avenue Navigation Center to further increase the area’s capacity to serve the unhoused community. A grand opening ceremony with comments from Lane County Commissioner Pat Farr, Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, as well as people with lived experience and other community partners was held Monday, August 8th at the River Avenue Navigation Center.
“This Navigation Center puts us one step closer to achieving our goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring” said Lane County Board Chair Pat Farr. “My thanks go to the countless individuals who put their time, effort, expertise, creative thinking, and care from Lane County, City of Eugene, Oregon Housing & Community Services, and so many partners throughout our community, to make this center a reality.”
The River Avenue Navigation Center is a low-barrier shelter equipped to support up to 75 participants at a time. The program serves people who experience unsheltered homelessness and who are prioritized for housing resources through Lane County Coordinated Entry. The purpose of The Navigation Center is to support people by removing barriers to housing, including document retrieval, income assistance, repairing credit, overcoming poor rental history, and more so that they can exit homelessness into permanent housing.
“We know that we have a long way to go to meet the need,” said City of Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis. “Every new resource is a meaningful and potentially life-changing opportunity for people in our community, and that deserves celebration.”
The Navigation Center is staffed by trained professionals and meant to be a welcoming place to help people stabilize and access resources to support their housing goals after living in places not meant for human habitation. This program is modeled based on similar programs operated throughout the United States.