Temporary Camping Update
The City of Eugene continues to make progress in establishing its first Safe Sleep sites and will start to draw down the two large temporary camps at Washington Jefferson Park and 13th Avenue as Safe Sleep sites become operational. The Safe Sleep sites will provide a safe and legal place to go for people living in tents or in their vehicles.
This update is meant to provide information on the progress of Safe Sleep sites, as well as the two large temporary camps. We know these camps have created challenges for the housed, unhoused, and those who work nearby. We’ve taken steps to mitigate the impacts, but it’s a continuous process. Below you will find information on our ongoing efforts.
For more information about Safe Sleep sites, including the two approved locations, visit https://eugene-or.gov/safesleep. For information about the criteria for temporary camping visit https://eugene-or.gov/tempcamping.
Washington Jefferson Park
A view of tents in Washington Jefferson Park in October 2021.
There are currently 234 tents in the park, as some of the 12’x12’ spaces now have multiple tents within them. Eugene Police park resource officers were limited this week because of court commitments and department training. Site monitors and resource officers removed more than a dozen abandoned tents and addressed non-compliant campers. Unified Command Logistics section contracted with NW HazMat to replace the Sheriff’s work crew for regular park trash pickup three days per week. NW HazMat is also able to remove human waste, needles and other hazardous materials appropriately. EPD has requested supplemental budget funding to help stabilize park resource officer presence; this duty is challenging for regular patrol officers to perform in a backup capacity since experience with park rules and camping is so critical to success.
The 63 gridded spaces remain occupied. Site monitors will focus on some camps decreasing amassed property in preparation for eventually moving to Safe Sleep sites or other stable locations. Since the area has been closed to new camping, some newcomers were denied access, and those people attempted to set up camps on or near sidewalks in adjacent areas. City staff and police worked to halt and remove these disallowed activities. Mitigating nearby unsanctioned camping remains a priority near temporary camps, Rest Stops and Safe Sleep sites.
Safe Sleep Sites
The Safe Sleep site at 310 Garfield in October 2021.
Work is ongoing to firm up sites as soon as is practicable.
310 Garfield St.
The City of Eugene opened its first Safe Sleep site at 310 Garfield St. on October 4. The site reached capacity October 14 and accommodates up to 55 vehicles used for shelter, along with additional vehicles used by those residents for transportation. Most of the vehicles at the site have been in unsanctioned streets in west Eugene. St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County operates the site, which has a waiting list. The site currently serves 78 community members.
Chase Commons Park
Staff are still seeking a service provider for Chase Commons Park, which is expected to host up to 20 Conestoga huts. A draft site plan has been created, and staff will also engage more with the neighborhood and businesses to respond to questions and concerns related to this site. The site has water and electricity available for connection in the street.
2243 Roosevelt Blvd.
Approved as a Safe Sleep site by City Council on September 29; staff will begin community engagement and site and operator planning. To be operated by SquareOne Villages.
Approved as a Safe Sleep site by City Council on September 29; staff will begin community engagement and site and operator planning. To be operated by EveryOne Village (Everyone Church).
410 Garfield St.
Approved as a Safe Sleep site by City Council on September 29; staff will begin community engagement and site and operator planning. To be operated by St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County.
More information about the City’s response to homelessness is available online.