SLEEPS ASKS MAYOR TO PROVIDE MECHANISMS AND TIMEFRAMES FOR PROMISES MADE AT STATE OF CITY ADDRESS; STATES HER PROMISES HAVE NOT YET BEEN CONSIDERED OR APPROVED BY COUNCIL
Today SLEEPS formally asked the Mayor and City Manager to provide empirical, written information on how and when the City plans to follow through on the Mayor’s promises, made in the State of the City report Wednesday night at the Hult Center.
SLEEPS is formally requesting information on the specific allocations made by City Staff in December when the Council officially budgeted $225,000 for shelter for the unhoused. $50,000 of this was a continuation of the St. Vincent RV/camping program, $25,000 went to provide sufficient funds for one family to be housed and receive other services through Shelter Care. Other specific allocations were left to Staff discretion with the exception that several councilors asked that the Egan Warming Centers receive extra funds. SLEEPS has asked for the specific actions taken. “It was only a year ago that the City officially budgeted $100,000 for a 24/7 shelter to ‘last through the winter’. That shelter lasted two nights. We don’t want the City to gain public favor again by claiming it is going to spend big bucks to do something for the unhoused and then failing to do so. We want accountability on every penny of the $225,000 allocated this time. Lives are at stake.”
SLEEPS also notes in the attached request that the Council has not yet approved any of the three promises made by the Mayor: to provide land for a village; to appoint a committee or to review the laws and ordinances that “unfairly” affect those who are unhoused.
These three issues are three of the six Recommendations made by the Mayor’s Task Force on Homeless Issues, Opportunity Eugene. The recommendations, made by a panel of 58 who served, were submitted to Council last March. To date, only one of them, the village, has been seriously discussed and none of them have been approved. Although the project appears to be on track and staff was instructed to look for land, the Council has not discussed any details of such a village nor approved it, much to the consternation of Councilor Mike Clark who has resisted such “putting the cart before the horse” process.
SLEEPS is demanding a time line not only for the three recommendations promised by the Mayor last night, but also for the other three.
We do not doubt the Mayor’s good intentions. We simply want the accountability demanded by SLEEPS to help make her good intentions be realized through putting pressure on staff and Council to act responsibly and quickly. Action is long over due. People are suffering and dying and human talent is being lost to society. Now is the time for promises to be kept.