The City of Eugene and White Bird Clinic have partnered to provide primary care and integrated behavioral health care to unhoused and low-income individuals in Eugene at the City of Eugene’s Day Resource Center. The clinic is located downtown at 450 W. 5th Ave. and is open by appointment only, typically serving about 70 to 80 people per week.
“The Day Resource Center’s location is ideal for serving individuals in the downtown area, allowing White Bird to bring medical care to where people are at. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the City to further our shared goals,” said Chris Hecht, White Bird’s Executive Coordinator.
The City leased the building at the end of 2019 to create a resource center with the purpose of connecting people experiencing homelessness with community resources to help stabilize their situation. When the pandemic struck Eugene in March 2020, the building was quickly established as home base for the city’s outreach team with the intent to provide people living outside with supplies for basic needs, so they could safely stay in one place rather than moving throughout the community and potentially contract or spread COVID-19. The building continues to serve as the hub for the City’s outreach team. In addition to supply distribution, City staff provide case management, housing navigation and document recovery services such as acquiring a driver’s license or state identification.
Before the pandemic, City staff convened a steering committee consisting of area residents, businesses, social service providers, and people with lived experience being unhoused, with a goal to develop outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness as well as the surrounding neighborhood. The steering committee resumed meetings in the summer of 2020 and learned White Bird needed a temporary location for a medical clinic. White Bird has been using the space successfully since March 2021 and plans to remain in the location through this summer.
“The Day Resource Center will be a place where individuals seeking to change their situation can access tools to help them stabilize and improve their lives,” said Peter Chavannes, policy analyst in the City Manager’s Office. “The solutions to homelessness can only be found through collaborative efforts that bring non-traditional partners into the conversation and create pathways for all of us to share our expertise.”
The City will post a Request for Proposals for an operator later this year based on the input from the steering committee and informed by broader outreach into the community by its steering committee members.