Seeking Solutions: The State of Our Homelessness Crisis
Time: 12:00pm to 1:30pm
In August 2021, the number of homeless people in Lane County was counted as 3,115—but in that month, only 42 people were moved into housing. The local shelters could provide an additional 851 beds, but 2,222 people had nowhere to go.
A circumstance in which 70% of a crisis goes unaddressed is ripe for expanded engagement and rethinking. In the past six months, the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce interviewed more than 150 stakeholders in the community. They included executives from nearly every nonprofit delivering homeless services, city and county staff, business and community leaders, unhoused individuals, and residents. They spoke with experts from across the country in communities where significant progress has been made towards ending homelessness. The resulting report, “The State of Our Homelessness Crisis,” includes eight primary recommendations and a timeline for action.
In this program, Eugene Chamber CEO Brittany Quick-Warner, West Eugene Ward 8 City Councilor Randy Groves, and Community Advocate Heather Sielicki will share what they have learned in years of work to quantify our local needs, understand difficult challenges, and identify real solutions that can be successfully operationalized and implemented. Across the United States, a few solutions-oriented communities have succeeded at eliminating homelessness—reaching what is described as “functional zero.” Are the recommendations in this report and the robust engagement of our business community how Eugene gets there?
Title: City Councilor
Organization: City of Eugene
Randy Groves is the Eugene City Councilor for Ward 8, which includes the southwest area of the city. He retired in 2016 after serving the local community for 36 years as a firefighter, captain, district chief, deputy chief and fire chief. He led the merger between the Eugene and Springfield fire departments. As a councilor, he serves on the City’s Budget Committee, the Human Rights Commission, the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) Board, the Cascades West Economic Development District (CWEDD) Board, and the Metropolitan Policy Committee (MPC). He earned a BS in Planning, Public Policy and Management at the University of Oregon and graduated from the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Title: President and CEO
Organization: Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
Brittany Quick-Warner is the President and CEO of the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. She moved to Eugene in 2012 and the next year began working at the Chamber as an events coordinator. After a short time, she moved up and spent a few years as the Director of Business Advocacy. In 2017, she was appointed as CEO. She is the co-owner of Blue Bus Creatives, a videography, web design and photo booth business. She earned a BS in atmospheric science and a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Missouri.
Organization: Everyone Village
Heather Sielicki is the co-lead for Everyone Village. Previously, she worked with Carry it Forward and White Bird Clinic, as well as in technology and instructional design. She currently serves as a Eugene Human Rights Commissioner and Vice-Chair for the Lane Coalition for Organizations Active in Disaster Response (COAD). She was chair of the Southeast Neighbors Association and co-chair of the Neighborhood Leaders Council. Heather’s volunteer experience includes 10 years as a member of the Cascade Mycological Society. She hopes to incorporate a mushroom farming component into the garden project.