Temporary Shelter Closures - What’s next for our homeless neighbors?

Categories: Homeless Aid
Date: Wednesday, June 10 2020

St. Vincent de Paul of Lane County is committed to serving our unhoused neighbors, and will continue to provide safe shelter for as many as possible during this public health crisis. It is imperative for our collective public health that all community members have access to shelter, food, sanitation facilities, and medical care.

For the last several months, we have partnered with the City of Eugene and Lane County Government to operate temporary emergency shelters for unhoused people in the Eugene area. Unfortunately the temporary emergency funding period from the city and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has ended. We do not have the organizational funding to maintain respite centers independently while our organization’s traditional social service funding sources are curtailed due to the pandemic’s impact on business enterprises.

In order to maximize our impact with the resources available to us, we have pivoted our strategy to focus on our existing programs serving the unhoused community:

  • The Lindholm Center programs directly serve single unhoused adults: we will continue to provide hygiene products and facilities, food, and laundry to unhoused single adults at this service center.
  • Dawn to Dawn will continue to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The low-barrier shelter serves unhoused adults.

While we have seen an increase in need since the beginning of March at our service facilities, our Dawn to Dawn site can only shelter 125 and still maintain safe social distancing to protect the health of our guests.

We would not be able to provide these services without our generous community, who has stepped up to provide support even in uncertain times. Under regular conditions, we are able to house 256 adults: we are exploring options to expand our shelter capacity and are counting on the continued support of our community to make this happen.

SVDP has been incredibly grateful to local non-profit partners who have mobilized to provide basic services for the health and safety of our unhoused neighbors. As we move forward, it is imperative that our community continues to advocate for change alongside the unhoused community and nonprofit stakeholders. Together, we can find creative solutions to end the cycle of homelessness.