SLEEPS Strike Team to Demonstrate at Kaufman House on Saturday, February 9.
On Saturday, February 9, at 1 p.m. the SLEEPS Strike Team will demonstrate for the unhoused. SLEEPS activists and their supporters will display signs, pitch tents, and rake the yard at the abandoned Trude Kaufman House at 996 Jefferson Street in Eugene.
With at least 1500 unhoused people living in freezing weather this winter, SLEEPS activists maintain that closure of the house indicates a lack of will on the part of the city to provide for its most vulnerable.
Gertrude “Trude” Kaufman donated the historic house to the city for community use in 1972, and it served as a senior center until December 2010. Now the house does not serve the community in any capacity, and the house’s trust fund is being spent only on the maintenance of the property. Some SLEEPS activists say that the home has the potential to provide shelter for unhoused children and their parents and could be managed by seniors and other volunteers.
Advocates for the unhoused in Eugene created SLEEPS (Safe Legally Entitled Emergency Places to Sleep) in opposition to Eugene’s anti-camping code, which criminalizes taking shelter in a tent or sleeping bag and using a heater or fire on public property.