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Fewer Homeless People Found In Lane County In This Year's Count

Rachael McDonald

This year’s point in time homeless count found fewer people in Lane County than last year. There were 1,451 people without a home on that January night. Volunteers and staff visited parks, undersides of bridges, and places not meant for human habitation during the annual count.

Credit Rachael McDonald

Numbers released Tuesday show 644 formerly homeless people are now in permanent housing.

Pearl Wolfe is with Lane County Human Services. She says the 1.5% decrease in the count shows efforts to alleviate homelessness are working.

But Wolfe says, with more resources, agencies could do more.  

"This is just one day." She says, "This doesn’t mean that’s how many people are homeless in Lane County. It means that that was what we were able to capture for one day.”

Volunteer Roz Slovic surveyed people in downtown Eugene. She says things are getting better, but she’s concerned about un-housed young people.

“There were a number of them, I’d say, under the age of 25, who have been living on the streets for a long time." Slovic says, "And have no, it appeared, person in their lives to turn to.”

Slovic says many people she talked to said they struggled with mental illness and disabilities.  Federal and state governments require the one night counts, which are conducted in January nationwide. 


Copyright 2016 KLCC

Kyra Buckley is a JPR content partner from Oregon Public Broadcasting. Kyra grew up in Eugene, is a 2015 graduate of the University of Oregon, and started her journalism career at Eugene’s public radio station, KLCC.