Ask Eugene

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Panoramic view of the City of Eugene at night with City logo.

Have you heard a rumor in the community or just curious about something going on in Eugene? We're here to help! Post your questions and City staff will provide accurate and up-to-date information and answers.

Have you heard a rumor in the community or just curious about something going on in Eugene? We're here to help! Post your questions and City staff will provide accurate and up-to-date information and answers.

Curious about something? Just ask!

Q&A

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    As a Eugene Homeowner, I am very concerned about the transient/street people situation in town. I see large empty parking lots and various empty lots around town . Can some of these open areas be converted into legal camping areas instead of tolerating campers to pitch a tent alongside busy thorofares, parks and the riverbank, streets, and highways? Eugene has become an eyesore like Portland and it's getting worse.

    S-Squared asked 15 days ago

    Thank you for your concern and interest. The City is actively working to establish legal spaces for people camp. Our Rest Stop program allows up to 20 people, age 18 and older, to sleep overnight in tents or Conestoga huts on designated sites. We currently have 4 of these sites (several in underused parking lots) and the City Council recently approved adding 5 more sites by the end of the year. Read more about Rest Stops and find staff contact information if you have suggestions or would like to host one.

    In addition, we recently launched a new program called “microsites.” Mircrosites provide transitional shelter to a small group of individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness. Up to 6 Conestoga huts or tents are allowed and the site is managed by a nonprofit social service provider who is responsible for maintaining the site, providing supervision and oversight, and supporting the residents. The smaller nature of these sites make them easier to locate in smaller areas. We currently have 2 of these sites up and running and staff continue to seek additional sites, exploring both public and private property partnerships. Neighborhoods, organizations, or businesses interested in hosting or sponsoring a microsite can contact City of Eugene Homeless Services Staff at 541-682-8442. 

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    I do not know who this message needs to reach but if you know where to take it please get it there. This city needs to act fast and open up the warming centers in order to give homeless a place to go to get out of this smoke before they are dead. Is anyone looking into this? It would be a shame if someone had to be hospitalized or worse before action was taken. I am aware that Covid night teen and distancing is a factor but the fairgrounds could hold the solution. Thank you, tmmmy.

    tmmmy asked 3 months ago

    (Posted 9/14/20 12 p.m.)

    We recognize that our community is in an extraordinary and extremely difficult situation and we are taking all these factors into consideration as we strive to provide services to those in need.

    Last night (Sept. 13) Lane County authorized the use of the Expo Center at Lane Events Center/Fairground for a 24/7 clean air shelter, operated by the City of Eugene. Due to COVID-19 health protocols, the respite center can serve up to 15 vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness.

    Access to the overnight respite center is through referral through White Bird, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 341 E. 12th Ave., or their 24-hour crisis line (541) 687-4000. The City of Eugene is contracting with St. Vincent DePaul to open the center which will offer shelter through 9 a.m. on Tuesday, at which time we will assess the need to extend services. The City extends its gratitude to Lane County for allowing the use of the space for an overnight shelter.

    Hilyard Community Center also offers daytime clean air shelter from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The City and County request the help of community partners in identifying additional respite sites.

    We are working to provide services to everyone in need. The City of Eugene and Lane County have been working together to establish clean air shelters since Wednesday, September 9. These started out at Hilyard and Petersen Barn Community Centers and the Lane Events Center for people who do not have access to indoor shelter. The shelters were consolidated into one shelter at the Lane Events Center which was staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. last weekend.

    Additionally, Lane County continues to work with homeless service providers to provide N95 masks for distribution, so far supplying 300. 

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    Why doesn’t the city require screening and only give support to local homeless. We cannot afford to re-home and support everyone from outside our community.

    Viccot asked 5 months ago

    Thank you very much for reaching out with your question and concern. While we don’t have data from the current year, previous data collected by Lane County indicates that most people experiencing homelessness in our community are from the area. We know that the need of our local population exceeds the resources that are available, and that the gap between housing affordability and local median wages will continue to create a challenge for our local population in maintaining stable housing, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, access to affordable housing, shelter, basic needs such as food and hygiene, and other resources to help individuals and families in our community stabilize and thrive is something we will continue to work on. We will also continue to work with Lane County, the state, and other regional partners on how to address the housing and homelessness crisis that is impacting Oregon and the nation.

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    Protesters were driven out of downtown, and into residential areas, because of imposed curfews on the night of the 1st of June 2020. The city code says that this is supposed to happen in response to emergencies. Since the damages from Friday, what is the justification for these emergency declarations that have continued into the week following? Is there a clear limit to how long after an emergency is over that the city is permitted to use it to declare curfews?

    NSerban asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for you question and for your patience with our reply. In the past few weeks there has been much discussion about the significant events in late May and the City’s response. The City supports and facilitates peaceful protests, and has a responsibility to protect life, safety and property within our community. Read more about why the City implemented curfews on several nights, and how the community was notified. As a City organization we appreciate the concerns and questions we have heard regarding our response. See additional information that may help answer to some of the protest related questions and concerns we’ve heard from the community.

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    Hello in light of riots directly related to black police profiling and recent deaths of George Floyd I would like to know what the policy the city of Eugene has in place to ensure nothing like that ever happens here. It is NOT OK and not supported by this community. Thank you

    Bevin Helm asked 6 months ago

    Dear Bevin,

    Thank you for reaching out and for your patience with our reply. The events in late May were significant for our community. As a City organization we appreciate the concerns and questions we have heard regarding our response. In Eugene, the work our community has done to promote and establish robust accountability measures provides a strong foundation for future changes. We also recognize we still have work to do and important changes to make as we move forward. The City is open to change, and we want to provide information that may help respond to some of the protest related questions and concerns we’ve heard from the community. You will find information about Eugene Police Department oversight and accountability; the 8 Can’t Wait Campaign; police training in de-escalation, crisis intervention, bias/diversity; police hiring; police use of tear gas and other tools; and more. Additionally, see a statement released today by many Eugene city councilors and Mayor Vinis supporting Black Lives Matter. Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns.  

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    City Leaders and Elected Officials - For weeks now a group of vagrants has canvassed my neighborhood on recycle pick up day mornings. They are rummaging through the trash, glass and recycle bins placed at curbside for recovery and taking the bottles, cans and other items with deposit return or other resale value. As I departed for work this morning, I approached the individual sorting thru my bins and advised that I did not want him removing any items from the containers. A 2nd vagrant entered the conversation stating that their action was permitted by Law and that they would not comply with my request. Fearing this disagreement could escalate to physical conflict, I left the scene as the group continued to plunder the bins in our neighborhood. Do the City Leaders and Laws in fact enable and permit this behavior? My request to cease the rummaging was defied with aggression and I find the action very concerning on several levels. What can my neighbors and I do to protect our ID Security, our Property and the Personal Safety of our families? Please advise.

    Marshall asked 7 months ago

    Marshall,

    Thank you for you inquiry. The City does not have a City Code that explicitly prohibits someone from going through garbage and recycling bins. Generally speaking ,the items within one's trash are considered their property until collection by the hauler. We understand that identity theft, infection, injury and many other issues may arise from such behavior and we continue to look at ways to discourage it while finding ways to better address the needs of those who may be inclined to rummage for items.

    If this becomes a recurring issue we suggest contacting the Eugene Police Department’s non-emergency line at 541-682-5111.

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    City Leaders - I submitted a question several weeks ago seeking guidance related to my concern with increasing vagrant activity in my neighborhood as they canvas the area rummaging thru recycle & trash bins removing all items with any resale value. The question which was submitted in detail, centered on the 2 vagrants who aggressively defied my request to not remove the property in my bins as I am concerned about ID Security, my families Personal Safety and protecting my Property. Please advise as to the City's position on what they argued was their legal right to take anything in the disposal bins.

    Marshall asked 7 months ago

    Thanks for following up, Marshall, and our apologies on a delayed response. Much of our communications team is supporting the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are working on getting you an answer and you should hear back from us early next week. Thanks for your patience.

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    Why are those who are working on unnecessary new bicycle lanes in Eugene (see 13th ave) not quarantined along with the rest of us? Are we not in a quarantine situation anymore? Why is the city ignoring the mandate for only necessary jobs in operation?

    Val Stilwell asked 8 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out and for your concern about following the Governor’s Stay Home, Save Lives order. The health and safety of our community is the City’s top priority. In accordance with Governor Brown’s rules to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, the City of Eugene is taking action to reduce potential exposure to this virus, especially for those individuals who are at higher risk of severe illness. These actions include postponing or canceling large community events and activities as well as changing the delivery of some City services and programs. Under the guidance of Lane County Public Health and in consultation with our expert internal emergency response staff, the City is making these difficult decisions in the best interest of public health and welfare. See our website for details about  City services - What’s open? Public Works and other local development projects are allowed under the order. In these situations, our staff is taking important precautions and following the physical distancing guidelines, including keeping 6 feet of distance.

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    to Elected Officials and City/County Management Employee's, My wife and I work hard to stay employed and support our children's needs. Consequently, our family does not receive any financial assistance, free meals, food stamps or other tax payer funded entitlements. We've noticed the City & County leaders are funding many programs and dedicating extensive resources to provide services to those who do not meet their parenting obligations. Most of the services you are extending are paid for thru the crushing property taxes and other tax sources assessed by governments on our productively employed citizens. We haven't heard or seen much of anything about programs elected officials have introduced to support the hard working, tax paying citizens family medical, housing, meal, educational and other well-being. How do you justify this disproportionate distribution of resources? Thank you.

    Marshall asked 8 months ago

    Thank you very much for reaching out. We understand that the entire community is hurting right now and we hear your concerns. We invite you to participate in our upcoming budget process, which provides an opportunity for community members to weigh in on how you feel city resources should be directed. Budget meetings begin on May 13. Visit our Budget web pages as the meeting approaches for details about how to view the remote meetings and provide public comment. You can also visit our Open Budget website to find more details about how resources are allocated in the current budget.

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    I have some ideas to share with LTD transit for input re: their changing routes etc. To whom shall I direct this info? thanks, colette

    eyedance asked 8 months ago

    Thanks for reaching out. Please contact LTD directly to share your ideas about proposed route changes.