Lane County and the City of Eugene staff, working with community-based groups, are doing a good job of expanding shelter space for homeless/unhoused individuals and families. The question many have asked is, are the people tested for COVID-19 before congregating in these shelter areas?
Controlled, supported tent and car camping sites have been set up in parking lots near the Amazon Community Center. At the south end individuals or couples shelter in personal-sized tents or vehicles. Another area at the north end of the property provides camping for families with children. Pedersen Barn in Bethel is host to similar supported camping. By supported I mean there are porta-potties and hand washing stations, the tent platforms are spaced out, and meals are brought in regularly. Not anyone’s idea of luxury, but personal safety and predictable food are essentials often missing when living on the street.
I’ve spoken with people in the Amazon camp shelter. They say they’ve been tested and don’t have COVID-19. It’s my understanding that White Bird set up and manages these camping areas. I was very encouraged to hear people staying there say they had been tested before they were allowed to reside there. We all deserve a safe place to shelter in place. People I spoke with said they felt safe there, so much better, they said, than the indoor shelter at the fairgrounds.
Last week I asked questions related to testing and shelters. Lane County staff and a city staff person replied. I’m trying to digest all the information they provided. County and City staff are working extremely hard to keep all of us safe. Stay tuned for more information on testing as I find it.
The White Bird page sited below has a lot of information about these shelter spots.