EUGENE, Ore. - The Eugene City Council voted 7 to 1 to move ahead with a plan to put a temporary homeless camp downtown on the vacant site of the former City Hall.
City staff are uncertain how much the camp will cost.
City Manager Jon Ruiz said the funding would come in part from $8.5 million approved for community safety initiatives.
Details have not been finalized.
The plans call for heated tents, electricity and WiFi at the site.
The news is seen as a victory for people without homes as winter approaches.
“It's not very easy getting frostbite or hearing someone cry in pain because of the cold,” said Aimee Barerra, a women in the homeless community.
City Councilor Mike Clark, the lone dissenting vote Monday, voiced concerns.
"Can we be sure that this site will safe a secure?" he asked.
People downtown had similar thoughts.
"I do think they need a place to stay,” said student Autumn Morrison. “I just hope that it doesn't turn into me feeling unsafe."
That's something homeless community member Elijah Davis understands.
"They have a right to be concerned, but just as any new neighbor we deserve a chance to prove ourselves," he said.
Ruiz, the city manager, said St. Vincent de Paul will most likely manage the new site. The non-profit already manages a similar dusk-to-dawn camp near Highway 99.
So far, Ruiz said the other site hasn't had any safety or security issues.
"We rely on their expertise to operate this site in that same manner," he said.
The exact dates of operation haven't been determined. City staff said the camp will likely open in the next few weeks. The temporary shelter will be taken down or moved after winter is over.