Closer to the Heart

A heartfelt answer to homelessness, plus a shocking revelation at a City Council meeting

illustration by jeff drew

After years of hearing from residents who are tired of municipal inaction on ending Eugene’s homelessness problem, the City Council declared an end to the crisis by declaring, “Home is where the heart is.”

The Eugene City Council voted unanimously for the declaration and unraveled a George W. Bush-eque “Mission Accomplished” banner to celebrate when the March 25 meeting adjourned. During the celebration after the City Council meeting, Mayor Lucy Vinis made a not-so-shocking revelation about her identity. 

“I really think we’ve solved it now,” City Councilor Chris Pryor, who gleefully seconded the motion, told the Eugene Weekly. “Homeless folk can finally rest easy knowing they have a home.” 

The City Council’s solution caps several years of policy considerations, such as discussing punitive measures to end panhandling, paying for high-cost consultants and throwing essential oils at the homeless to make them disappear from a business-oriented downtown. 

Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, attending the City Council meeting in their signature green blazers, erupted in joy, applauding the decision. 

“We wholeheartedly agree with [City Council]. It’s clear that folks experiencing homelessness need a solution because it’s still so cold outside,” says Brittany Quick-Warner, CEO of Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. “Best of all, this solution doesn’t cost business owners anything because we just can’t afford to pay increased taxes.”

Before the matter was voted upon, City Manager Jon Ruiz offered a caveat despite recommending that the City Council pass the action item. 

Ruiz said the action item would need an amendment later down the road to ensure the homeless population’s hearts are subject to proper permits. Ruiz wouldn’t comment to EW on how much revenue these permits would bring in, but it would pay off past costs accrued from Eugene Police Department’s anti-homeless enforcement. 

Amidst the celebration inside Harris Hall, Mayor Vinis told attendees that since she accomplished one of the goals she established at the 2019 State of the City, she could finally reveal a key truth about herself.

Vinis began to tug at her face, revealing a familiar visage. It turns out that Vinis has been Kitty Piercy this whole time. 

No one seemed surprised — no one in the audience, city councilors or Ruiz gasped or indicated shock. 

Councilor Mike Clark told EW that he thought Piercy was still mayor this whole time because Ruiz never told the councilors there was a new mayor. Clark says he just thought Piercy had a new hairstyle, which he was too afraid to compliment since it’s been a few years. 

“We figured they were the same person since Piercy is always acting like the mayor anyway, always attending public events, chatting up the public on Facebook and offering candidate endorsements,” Ruiz says.

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