My email to Mayor Lucy Vinis and our City Council Jan. 14, 2024…
As always I appreciate reading your blog and reaching out to the community. I notice you didn’t mention the homeless situation in Eugene.
I wanted to share with you that homeless sweeps have been increasing. We are seeing more and more unhoused people needing additional resources after being swept. Many have lost their cars or RVs which are their homes and are forced into the streets with little resources because they can’t afford the $800 to get their car/RV returned which was their home. In this cold, there should be multiple warming centers during the day. I’m only aware of the Eugene Mission being open during the day.
Yesterday we had to provide housing for a diabetic homeless man released to the streets in a wheelchair by PeaceHealth after toe amputation. He was in hypothermia and Occupy Medical staff helped stabilize him and then The Way Home moved him into indoor lodgings. I went back into WJ Park with boxes of blankets for people shivering.
When the unhoused are swept by EPD and Parks, they lose everything. We saw multiple city and parks vehicles sweeping the homeless before the ice storm. Is there no compassion or understanding by the city of how devastating this is to the unhoused? The Egan Centers are named after a man who froze to death outside. Does anyone in the city remember this? Perhaps some training for the city staff about how unhoused people die in winter is appropriate.
I am sorry to be so blunt, but people’s lives are on the line and our ‘compassionate’ city needs to take action to save lives.