I agree with Bob Warren’s Viewpoint (3/29) that something useful should be done with the gigantic five-year-old sand and gravel field at 7th and Pearl Street that used to have Eugene City Hall sitting upon it, but now is an eyesore.
I propose that the city — perhaps in partnership with the county — build a large homeless shelter on the lot, since it’s no longer arguable that homelessness is a significant local issue and what we’re doing now isn’t working for many people.
The site is big enough that separate but related programs could be built there — one for those who need a place to go immediately for a few days, and one that would be available for those, including families, who could transition to more permanent digs, with supportive services, say over a few months.
Once someone graduates from the transitional program, that slot would be available to someone appropriate at the other program. There would still be enough room to provide an area where people could pitch tents and tarps if no beds in the other programs were available. This would be an appropriate companion program to the Egan Warming Center beds.