Ending Homelessness in Eugene: All Hands on Deck
Time: Noon to 1:15 pm
Venue: Maple Room, Inn at the 5th, Market District
205 E 6th Ave
Enter the Maple Room at Inn at the 5th near the north stairs to 5th Avenue. Details at https://cityclubofeugene.org/see-you-at-our-new-meeting-space/. An optional lunch from Tap & Growler may be purchased; please, no outside food. Park in the lot north of the railroad tracks on High or park west of Market Square on 5th.
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Rare, brief, and nonrecurring. These are the words used to describe homelessness in communities that have worked to end it.
These are not the words used to describe homelessness in Eugene. At least, not yet.
In 2019, an analysis of federal data confirmed that Eugene had the worst per capita homelessness rate in the nation, ahead of both Los Angeles (#2) and New York City (#3).
In comparison with other US cities, Eugene has 432 people experiencing homelessness per 100,000 people in population. (Oregon’s rate overall is 350 per 100,000 people.) According to Lane County, 4,531 people were experiencing homelessness county-wide in June 2023—and just over 3,600 of those people were living in unsheltered conditions.
Spurred on by the visible harms caused by homelessness and public safety concerns, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has been working to better understand the homelessness crisis during the past few years, including interviews with more than 150 community stakeholders, outreach to experts across the country, engagement across sectors, and authoring a report, The State of Our Homelessness Crisis, in September 2021.
This City Club program will share recommendations from the Chamber’s research, introduce a cross-sector effort to formalize “One Regional Plan” to end homelessness, and offer insight from nonprofit sector leaders regarding our current supply of affordable housing and resources. A shared vision and innovative action are needed if homelessness is to be rare, brief and non-recurring in Eugene. What will it take to get all hands on deck?
Resources: Homelessness is a Housing Problem
“Invisible Class” – video
Title: Owner, Burley Design; developer
Organization: Business Leaders Task Force, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Burley Design’s Owner and CEO Mike Coughlin is a Eugene entrepreneur, housing developer, and a past board president of Cornerstone Community Housing (Metropolitan Affordable Housing). He is a member of the Chamber’s Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness, and his passion for creating affordable housing in our community goes back several decades.
Title: President & CEO
Organization: Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
As a key representative for businesses and employers in the Eugene Area, Brittany works to promote and strengthen our community through a prosperous economy and business sector. She leads the strategic vision of the organization in partnership with the Board of Directors, and has been the President & CEO of the Eugene Chamber since 2017. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.
Title: Director of Policy, Advocacy & Strategic Relationships
Karen Saxe leads policy development and advocacy efforts for DevNW and its affiliate nonprofit, Community LendingWorks, across the areas of affordable housing development, asset building programs and services, and small business and community-based lending. She also supports organizational growth and development through strategic partnerships throughout its seven-county service area. She holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Public Administration.