HEDIN’S DREAM: THE TRUDE KAUFMAN HOUSE UNSHUTTERED AND HELPING AGAIN
HEDIN BRUGH is a tough survivor and relentless activist who lives on the streets of Eugene. He’s fought for the trees and environment for much of his life. More recently, he’s fought against illegal foreclosures, fought for first amendment rights and now he is fighting for those who are unhoused. Instead of resting secure in the knowledge that he can take care of himself on the streets, he constantly worries and works for those for whom he knows life on the streets is pure hell. “I worry most about families. Especially women with children. And men with children, there is no place they can go.”
Though the Mission recently accepted its first father and child family, their family space and that of First Place has long been full. And lots of folks can’t manage the Mission environment or living in the basement of a church, with no privacy. They might WANT to manage it but just not be able.
Hedin has been watching the shuttered Trude Kaufman House at 10th and Jefferson for two years now. And for the third time in recent weeks he and other SLEEPS activists are pitching tents at 1PM at the site to bring the community’s attention to the fact that this resource is sitting empty while the unhoused suffer in the cold.
“This is a generous community, “ says Hedin. “If the city would lease this place to a not for profit, there are many unemployed and licensed carpenters, electricians, plumbers who would much rather being doing something useful than sitting around.” He also says that the former senior center is a place where many seniors who want to help but have no place do so could come and volunteer. “The Trude Kaufman House is just eating up the fund the Kaufmans left. The city should make it possible for volunteers to help there and bring unhoused families out of the cold.”
Hedin is not only a tough activist, he is also a poet and playwright and is currently developing street theater for SLEEPS and writing a play that deals with issues around the unhoused.