A few small huts are changing lives in a big way at Good Samaritan Society – Eugene Village.
These shelters — called Conestoga Huts — are a part of a city-authorized program designed to offer respite to the homeless population of Eugene, Oregon.
City officials approached the administration of Eugene Village with an idea to use part of the parking lot for a homeless camp. Officials from the city, Lane County and Eugene Village agreed it would be an ideal spot for the camp.
Eugene, and Lane County in general, has a homeless crisis. The homeless occasionally spill over into neighborhoods, causing issues.
But a dedicated area of shelter with regulations helps alleviate problems between the homeless and homeowners.
Thanks to the city's lenient overnight sleeping ordinance for parking lots, Eugene has been able to place homeless camps in unexpected locations. In this case, the huts will legally sit on the northeast corner of the Good Samaritan Society parking lot.
Although the code is lenient, there are strict rules designed to keep order at the camp. The rules include: no drugs or alcohol, quiet time, and specified hours to be on and off site. Each resident also must have a plan in place for progressing toward permanent housing.