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White Bird Clinic sets out to help those in need

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EUGENE, Ore. — Winters can be tough on a lot of people, but those that are homeless are especially vulnerable.

Advocates say that people who live on the streets, or in their cars, are more susceptible to sickness in the winter months.

Every year, Lane County Human Services counts the number of people living on the streets in a given day. According to their 2017 report, there is an estimated 1,600 people experiencing homelessness here in Lane County, which is a five percent increase since 2016.

On top of that, 2,000 more people don't have a place to call home, and according to White Bird coordinator Ben Brubaker, there is a lack of basic services here in Eugene, which contributes to the dilemma. With winter well on its way, the cold will only make it more difficult for the health of homeless people.

"You see these kinds of things happen to the overall health of the community because you're pulling its vital services away, or you're not expanding services where you could be able to get people basic needs," said Brubaker.

Brubaker works on White Bird's mobile crisis response unit, known as Cahoots.

White Bird is currently conducting their "Stay Warm" drive, collecting donations of coats, gloves and socks for people in need.

For more information on how to contribute, you can visit White Bird's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WhiteBirdClinic/.

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