2019 State of the City - Year in Review

2018 in Eugene – a year we were called on to meet new and growing challenges, learn from one another, build new connections, and celebrate what we love about this place we call home. 


Looking back, we can take pride in what we accomplished while acknowledging the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

  1. Meeting the Challenges
  2. Working Together
  3. Investing in the Future
  4. Expanding Access
  5. Celebrating Eugene

Early in 2018, the City Council focused on city-wide challenges related to community safety, homelessness, and housing affordability.


Community Safety

Following a thorough recruiting process, Eugene welcomed Chris Skinner as our new Police Chief and he quickly got to work.


Eugene’s growing public safety needs highlight concerns that run throughout our community safety system.


  • Increasing calls for service
  • Flat staffing levels
  • Increasing police response times

To address these needs, the City Council unanimously approved a one-time, $8.6 million 18-month funding strategy to expand prevention services while also adding police officers, 911 dispatchers, and jail beds. Council also committed to working toward finding a long-term solution in 2019.


In 2018 EPD purchased three guardian trailers. These mobile security systems use cameras to help deter crime through their visible, well-marked presence. 


Officers also utilized two new radar trailers in neighborhoods throughout the City to help curb speeding.


Meanwhile, Eugene Springfield Fire launched two new apps. The Fireworks Alert mobile app allows people to report illegal fireworks via a smartphone, and more than 1,000 people have downloaded Pulse Point, which notifies people if someone nearby needs CPR – saving time and lives.


  • Identifies activity hot spots 
  • Supports safer celebrations

Eugene Springfield Fire now has 43 new cardiac monitors in all medic units and front line fire apparatus thanks to a grant. 


Creating a safe, vibrant, and welcoming city for all means continuing to provide support to victims of hate and bias activity. 


For the seventh consecutive year, the City issued its Hate and Bias Report. The City partners with community organizations to proactively educate and provide resources in response to hate and bias activity. 


Homelessness

While Community Safety was a theme throughout the year, the growing needs of people with no place to live continues to be a significant concern.


The City committed more than $1 million to Lane County Human Services for social services that support people in need.


Councilors also approved a new Dusk to Dawn site for people with children, St. Vincent de Paul’s First Place Family Center Annex.


  • Sheltering up to 20 families a night

Understanding the need for long term solutions, the City and County partnered with Technical Assistance Collaborative to conduct a shelter study. The City and County will explore solutions to reduce homelessness based on the study – including plans for $1 million that the Council dedicated to creating a public shelter.


Housing affordability

While Eugene continues to support emergency and affordable housing, housing growth has not kept pace with demand. The Housing Tools and Strategies work group took on this challenge in 2018. Working together they identified shared community values and interests which became the cornerstone of the process, prioritizing a list of strategies to remove barriers, reduce costs and increase supply.  


  • Work group of 36 community members

2018 laid the groundwork for projects across the city, and 2019 promises to be an eventful year as we move forward as a community continuing to find solutions, make connections, and work together for all of Eugene.