Snapshots of Eugene #1: Poverty at Christmastime (a continuing series)

This post is for anyone who still believes the myth most or all people are unhoused because they have drug/alcohol/mental health problems, or they <choose to live that way>.

A few posts from the Facebook group Eugene/Springfield Resources, in response to the question <What is one thing you NEED that you cannot afford right now?>

  • Need help with my december rent, will be getting 72 hour notice by no later than monday and I am almost 71 with no place to go
  • A livable RV or trailer for my daughter. as long as everything works in it and its livable it would be the best christmas gift ever her car keep breaking down then it got towed one night she had to get it out shes been homeless for 3 or 4 months
  • Queen size bed and bedding. Got into a place after living in the car for a year. My 7 year old has a bed to sleep in. Hubbs and I are on the floor and I’m fat old and dying lol
  • Prayers and positive thoughts for my son an his girlfriend that are in the streets.

In the America of 2019, in communities across the country and especially on the West Coast, lack of affordable housing is the #1 reason for homelessness.

Eugenes poverty rate is 21.7%, and an estimated 130 more people slip into homelessness in Lane County each month.

Eugene has the most unhoused people per capita in the nation. Consultants hired by the county concluded that homelessness is exacerbated here because we have a comparatively poorer, older, and more disabled populace and an inadequate stock of rental housing, either market-rate or publicly subsidized. Many families are having a hard time making ends meet, as their wages can’t keep up with increasing housing costs.

In the most recent Point-in-Time Survey [January 2019], only a quarter reported substance use, and a third reported mental illness.

Join MicroDwellers on our tour of the Eugene Mission on Sat., Jan. 18, 10am-noon, to learn more about this complex issue.

Published by Sherri Schultz

Writer & change-maker exploring micro-dwelling in Eugene, Oregon. Founder of Springfield/Eugene MicroDwellers: .

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