Press Release: Occupy Eugene to City, "Show us the Money"

Press Release


Contact:, @OccupyEugene

Occupy Eugene to City, “Show Us the Money”

As freezing temperatures return once again to the Eugene area we continue to be concerned about the 4,000+ homeless people in Lane County and wonder how they will survive. While many of us are sharing this Valentine’s day with our loved ones, we wonder if the City will show that they too “have a heart” by living up to their commitments to help our citizens in need.

During a Dec. 14 meeting, the City Council of Eugene passed a proposal to spend up to $100,000 to open a 7 night a week “Egan-like” facility to help those with mental health and addiction issues throughout the winter.

Then, two days before Christmas, the City moved in to close down our occupation site in Washington-Jefferson park that had been providing shelter, safety, and an estimated 500-800 hot meals per day to people in need.

While the City did open an emergency shelter at the Lane County Fairgrounds on Dec. 22 to accept some of the people that were displaced by the closure of our camp at Washington-Jefferson, that shelter only stayed open for 2 days closing on Christmas Eve morning and sending people out into the streets to fend for themselves.

Feb. 14 marks two months since the City Council voted to approve funding for a temporary “Egan-like” facility, and to date we have seen unsatisfactory efforts from the city in terms of following through on their own proposal. Was the vote by the City Council just a “Christmas Miracle” meant to make us all feel good for the holidays, or does the City of Eugene actually plan to follow through on their proposal of spending $100,000 to help our most vulnerable citizens make it through the winter?

This press release is from the Communications Committee of Occupy Eugene that has been empowered to speak on behalf of the larger Occupy Eugene body.



Re “no results”: I changed it from “no effort” to “no results,” because I’m aware there has been effort. Maybe results isn’t the right word either (unsatisfactory or not), since that might imply there has been an ending point in the efforts, and actually they are creeping along, with no (positive) results as of this time or on the horizon.

Finn, that’s complicated, but maybe along the right track (but pretty far off from the point being made in this press release). What was so remarkably successful at W-J with this difficult “dual-diagnosis” population was the healing power of the village with many others involved and self-empowerment as a guiding principle. (I refer to the “magic” of the combination protest-homeless camp.) Running a shelter where this population is separated from others and community — as if they’d even want to go there, and it would be only voluntary — is not something any agency in town had or has the resources or desire to contract with the city to attempt to do (from what I hear). Not to mention what neighborhood would want it, mentally-ill substance-abusers trooping through twice a day.

I am curious where this proposal originated before the council vote. It was not feasible, and staff who would have to implement it were not even in the loop, I’ve been told. Feels to me like it was a PR thing the city manager (or someone near him) came up with, not thinking straight about it, and council had virtually no information about it, only the recommendation to authorize funding for something that sounded good.

I feel that many people were snookered by this hollow action. I don’t feel this press release gets to the root of the problems at all, it just points the finger at “the city” for not doing what it seemed to have promised, when the motion was unfeasible baloney in the first place, and “the city” is not one monolithic entity.

BTW, no one in Occupy was asking that such a shelter be created, were they? The social service agencies weren’t, were they? The people it was meant for weren’t, were they?

The proposal was a mangling of what could be “best practices” by people not in the field. From what I hear, Michael Wisth and his boss may be trying to figure out how to get those funds re-authorized for a pilot project of some sort for the dual-diagnosis chronic homeless. I hope it actually would incorporate “best practices” from other cities and countries. It’s not going to be easy at all.

Re the city task force or its working groups, I don’t see that any progress on this (what Finn seems to suggest, and what I would suggest) is coming from them. I am only hoping that some groundwork is laid so that the community has more ability to make progress on this after the task force ends. (Sorry, again I diverge from the press release issue.)


Reid, I hope my rant portrays something of why I am concerned yet not further editing the draft.

Finn, there is no way the city is going to contract with Occupy Eugene any time soon, lol. Maybe with some other entity which might involve Occupy folks; maybe with a lead nonprofit among a collaboration of groups, including Occupy somehow.


Thanks Majeska. Can we directly help Wisth and his boss do just that? Lets remember and start this up somewhere else better placed. Maybe called ‘After the Task Force Ends’.


Finn (and anyone else), feel free to contact me about the affinity group “Occupy Opportunity” for just that purpose, as well as for the present. majeska at efn dot org


Good heading, and good job (overall).