Lane Co. Government
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News Releases
Lane County Human Services Announces Winter Blanket Drive - 02/23/24

 

Lane County Human Service Division, in partnership with The First Christian Church, Egan Warming Center, and St. Vincent DePaul, announced today a Winter Blanket Drive. The collaborative effort seeks to gather washable blankets suitable for winter use, sleeping bags, boots (sizes 8-12), sweatshirts (S/M/L), sweatpants (S/M/L), rain gear (S/M/L), tarps, and tents. The goal is to collect 500 blankets and other necessities to support those in need during the harsh winter conditions.The drive will take place February 26 through 29th, with drop-off donations accepted between 10 am and 2 pm at the First Christian Church at 1166 Oak Street, Eugene, OR 97401.

"All too often, our unhoused neighbors endure the brunt of winter's harshest elements without adequate protection. This drive represents not just a collection of goods, but a gathering of community spirit to provide warmth and shelter," said Lane County Human Services Program Services Coordinator, Maria Cortez

The blankets and supplies that are collected will be distributed to community members in need through direct service organizations. Specifically, Egan Warming Centers will use the blankets to help guests stay warm.

For more information about donating, please call the First Christian Church of Eugene’s Helping Hearts program at: 541-344-1425.

Tiffany Brown
Tiffany Brown
Tiffany Brown selected as Lane County Emergency Manager (Photo) - 02/20/24

Tiffany Brown, a leader in emergency management in Oregon, has been chosen as the County’s new emergency manager and started in her new role earlier this month. 

 

“We are so fortunate to have Tiffany Brown joining Lane County as the new emergency manager,” said Lane County Policy Director Stephen Adams. “She has been in the trenches of local response for many years and is well-positioned to continue to build our program here. Her vast experience in training, exercise, working with partners and the community will serve her – and our community – well.”

 

Brown succeeds Patence Winningham, who served as the emergency manager for four years. Brown was selected after a competitive national search. The position is responsible for planning and directing emergency management activities and projects; collaborating with partners in the government, private and non-profit sectors to conduct and coordinate countywide mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery activities; and updating and maintaining the County’s comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan. 

 

“It is very exciting to be back in the area and humbling to have been selected for the position,” said Tiffany Brown. “The ice storm created a unique opportunity for me to hit the ground running, and in coming months, I look forward to discovering other ways that my experiences on the North Coast can benefit the residents and support our community partners in Lane County.”

 

Brown served the last eight years as the emergency manager for Clatsop County. She brings a wealth of experience in local emergency management with a focus on regional preparedness, response, and mitigation related to catastrophic events – most notably the Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake. Related to her work on Cascadia preparedness, Brown has developed partnerships with state and federal military agencies that can also benefit Lane County’s coastal residents ahead of an earthquake. Prior to her role as Clatsop County’s emergency manager, Brown served as an emergency coordinator and clerk of the Board of County Commissioners there. She has also served as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. 

 

She is a graduate of the University of Oregon and holds a bachelor’s degree in English. Brown also has a master’s degree in security studies from the Center for Homeland Security Naval Postgraduate School. She is a member of the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (OSSPAC), as well as a FEMA instructor and a Certified Emergency Manager, which is a nationally and internationally recognized certification for emergency managers.

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Attached Media Files: Tiffany Brown
ROAD WORK: N. Game Farm Road - 02/14/24

Road Name:N. Game Farm Road
Location:North Eugene
Begin Closure:Milepost 0.5
End Closure:Milepost 1.7
Dates and times:February 20, 2024 through August 1, 2024, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on weekdays

Alternate routes:

 

N/A

Reason for closure:

 

 

Upgrading ADA curb ramps, paving, signs and making traffic signal modifications. 

Please obey the traffic control signs and flaggers. Use caution and slow down through work zones. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Road Closure: Deerhorn Road - 02/13/24

Road Name: Deerhorn Road


Location: East of Springfield


Begin Closure: MP 0.00


End Closure: MP 1.25


Dates and times: Wednesday, February 14, 2024, at 8:00am until Friday, February 16, 2024, at 5:00pm


Reason for closure: Tree and debris removal related to the winter storm
 

Alternate routes: Use Deerhorn Road to Bridge Street to Holden Creek Lane to Highway 126E (McKenzie Highway)

 

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Text message from scammer (02)
Text message from scammer (02)
Pet owners beware: scam targeting people with lost pets in Lane County (Photo) - 02/12/24

Pet owners in Lane County are being targeting by scammers representing themselves as Lane County Animal Services.

 

The scammers are contacting pet owners who have shared information about a lost pet online or via neighborhood posters. The scammers contact the pet owners and represent themselves as “Jack Richardson” from Lane County Animal Services. “Jack Richardson” then tells the pet owner that their pet has been found but is injured and requires emergency veterinary care. Pet owners are told they must provide payment via CashApp before their pet can be treated.

 

This is a scam. Lane County Animal Services would never: 1) demand payment via CashApp or other payment app or via gift cards and money orders, 2) withhold emergency medical care for an animal in its care pending payment from a pet owner, or 3) contact residents via text message without prior arrangement.

 

“This is an especially disgusting way to take advantage of people,” said Lane County Animal Services Manager Michael Johns. “We hope that any pet owners contacted this way realize it’s a scam before they make any payments. When in doubt, hang up and call us directly at 541-682-3645.”

 

Similar scams have been reported in states as far away as Georgia.

 

More details about the scam:

  • The name being used is “Jack Richardson” from Lane County Animal Services. No such person exists.
  • The number being used by the scammer is 541-623-9114. 
  • The CashApp account they want payment made to is $LCanimalserv and they provide reference numbers that look like this: LCAS-174752. 

 

Screenshots are attached for reference. 

 

How to make a report:

 

If contacted, people are encouraged to make a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at www.ic3.gov. The FBI maintains the Internet Crime Complaint Center and is the central hub for reporting cyber crime. 

 

If a local report is needed, people can contact their local law enforcement agency using a non-emergency phone number. 

 

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Become a temporary election worker and help democracy thrive - 02/12/24

The Lane County Elections Office is hiring temporary election workers to assist with the May 21, 2024 Primary Election. 

 

“Temporary election workers are critical to the success of elections,” said County Clerk Dena Dawson. “We want to build a more diverse pool of people that is representative of our community. Retirees are always welcome, but so are students, stay-at-home parents, gig workers, and anyone who just wants to learn more about elections or earn a few bucks.”

 

Available positions include customer service, data entry, ballot processing, and ballot collection. Some positions require a few weeks of availability and others only require a few days, or even just one night. Lane County does not use volunteers to conduct elections; all temporary election worker positions are paid. 

 

Temporary election workers are hired before each election cycle. Another round of hiring will begin in August for the November 5 Presidential Election. 

 

Detailed job descriptions, instructions, and more details for applying can be found at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections under the “Election Temporary Jobs” section. 

 

 

 

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Lane County Elections holding student contest to create "I Voted" coloring page - 02/12/24

Local students, kindergarten through college, are invited to create an “I Voted” coloring page for the Lane County Elections Office.

 

Four winning entries will be used to create a coloring page that will accompany ballots for the November 5, 2024 Presidential Election. 

 

“I’m excited about this creative way for Lane County voters to celebrate voting,” said Lane County Clerk Dena Dawson. “I can’t wait to see what students come up with and I hope we blow up social media in November with the colorful versions voters create.” 

 

There are four categories for student submissions:

  • Category 1: Kindergarten–5th Grade
  • Category 2: 6th Grade–8th Grade
  • Category 3: 9th Grade–12th Grade
  • Category 4: College or vocational school students

 

Submissions are due by April 1, 2024 and may be provided by email, mail or in-person. All entries must be submitted on the official entry form and must be signed by a parent or guardian if the entrant is under 18 years old. 

 

Submissions must be original artwork and on a plain white background with black outlines so voters can color the artwork in November and share on social media using #LaneCountyVotes. 

 

The entry form and more detail about how to submit artwork can be found at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/elections under the “I Voted Coloring Contest” section. 

 

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Lane County Human Services Launches New Technologies to Improve Access to Housing and Shelter Services - 02/08/24

 

Lane County Human Services (LCHSD), a division of Lane County Health & Human Services, today announced the launch of several new technologies designed to improve access and reduce barriers to shelters and housing options in Lane County. The Lane County Coordinated Entry (LCCE) Web Portal, the Real Time Shelter Finder, and a new partnership with 211 will improve the experience of those seeking shelter or the next step in their housing journey by allowing more options to sign-up and locate services. These new developments were only made possible through the work and coordination of community partners, and funding through ALL IN Lane County .

“Coordinated Entry is an integral process that, through a standardized assessment, prioritization, and referrals, aims to streamline and simplify the ways people in need of housing supports access services. Our goal is to connect people with the resources as quickly and easily as possible and in a manner that best suits their needs,” Lane County Interim Encampment Focused Outreach Coordinator, James Ewell.

LCCE is a low-barrier first step to accessing services available to anyone in Lane County facing a housing crisis. LCCE insures anyone can gain equitable access to the appropriate resources and housing interventions that fulfill their needs. Previously, to access LCCE, community members needed to visit a service provider, often having to schedule an appointment. The new LCCE Web Portal allows initial access to Coordinated Entry to be done anywhere via a phone or computer, eliminating the the time associated with needing to travel to a physical location. If internet access is a barrier, community members can also sign-up for LCCE via phone by simply dialing 211, or continuing to utilize the in-person access points located across the county and found on the LCCE website. This new partnership with 211 will allow community members seeking to learn more about available housing services to speak with a care coordinator. The coordinator can also assist in signing-up for LCCE.

The Real Time Shelter Finder will also increase access by providing a “real-time” look at what shelters are available, which shelters a shelter seeker is eligible for and which have vacancies across Lane County in an easy-to-navigate map format. Previously, community members in need of shelter would either need to call each shelter to inquire about vacancy, or physically present themselves at the shelter location. The former process was cumbersome and led to some shelters being over capacity while others remained under.

“We see this development as a practical way to provide a better user experience for shelter seekers while also helping to make the process less redundant and more efficient for the shelters themselves,” added Ewell.

Once services are requested through Coordinated Entry's access points, trained assessors conduct an assessment to determine what pathways to housing are available for the household. If a household is unable to be quickly connected to housing outside of Coordinated Entry referral, a Front Door Assessment will be completed with the household. Referrals from the Front Door Assessment will connect individuals to programs that combine housing stabilization and other community-based supportive services. Coordinated Entry provides referrals to Rapid Rehousing programs that assist households with short (1-3 months) or medium (4-24 months) term rental assistance to help them obtain and stabilize permanent housing, while Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) programs are designed to serve highly vulnerable households who are experiencing chronic homelessness and have a disability. When accessing housing services through Coordinated Entry, the information collected is limited to what is necessary to receive services, and assessors will only share that information with service providers.

To learn more about LCCE, the new web portal, and the Real Time Shelter Finder, please visit:

www.lanecountyor.gov/housinghelp



 

Lane County Human Services Opens Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Waiting List - 02/01/24

 

Lane County Human Services (LCHSD) today announced the opening of the waiting list for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP provides vital support to eligible households struggling with home heating costs, prioritizing applicants on a first come, first served basis.

"By alleviating the financial strain of heating costs and offering vital support, we continue to show our dedication to providing much needed assistance to foster a community where every household can thrive, stay warm, and remain safe," said Stephanie Talbott,  LCHSD Program Supervisor. 

LIHEAP, a federally funded heating assistance program, covers all home heating costs, including electric, natural gas, firewood, propane, pellets, and oil. This initiative aims to keep families safe and healthy by alleviating the financial burden of energy costs and offering assistance during energy crises, weatherization, and minor energy-related home repairs.

Ensuring access to LIHEAP support is crucial for vulnerable communities. Eligible households must meet the following criteria:

• Reside within Lane County

• Pay utility bills or purchase heating fuel such as firewood, propane, or pellets

• Have at least one member with a valid social security number

• Meet the income guidelines specified by the program

In addition to heating assistance, LIHEAP offers programs to help households stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, reducing the risk of health and safety problems associated with inadequate heating and cooling practices.Moreover, Homes for Good, in collaboration with Lane County Human Services, provides weatherization and minor energy-related repairs to eligible households. These additional services aim to enhance homes' energy efficiency and further support community members' health and well-being.

To secure a place on the LIHEAP waiting list, eligible households are urged to promptly call (541) 682-3378 at 9:00 am on February 1. Waitlists close quickly, so prompt action is essential.



 

Lane County Human Services To Perform Annual Homeless Point In Time Count - 01/31/24

Every January, Lane County Human Services Division (LCHSD), along with community partners, conducts the annual Point-In-Time (PIT) Count. The PIT count is a one-night count of persons experiencing homelessness in our community and is required bi-annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The annual PIT Count seeks to identify the number of people sleeping in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, utilizing food pantries, day and night access centers, and those sleeping outdoors in cars, tents, parks, or other outdoor spaces not intended to be housing. This year’s count will take place between Thursday, February 1 at 7am and Friday, February 2 at 7pm. The count will reflect who is experiencing homelessness the night of Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

"The Point in Time Count is most valuable as a tool to identify trends year after year, versus an accounting of the exact number of people who are unhoused,” said Lane County Human Services Division Manager, Kate Budd. “The PIT count is another example of using the best available data to gain a stronger understanding of homelessness in Lane County.”

The PIT count is meant to serve as a snapshot of homelessness in Lane County in order to provide a sense of the general scope and state of homelessness. While the data collected are important for benchmarking and funding purposes, it’s important to recognize the number of individuals experiencing homelessness is likely greater than what is able to be captured in this snapshot.

This year, street outreach teams will conduct a physical count of individuals who are unsheltered across the County, including Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, Florence, Junction City, Cottage Grove, Oakridge and Coburg. That data will be cross-referenced with the Homeless by Name List (HBNL), a database of individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have interacted with service agencies, in order to provide a more complete picture.

Additionally, Lane County is a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) Community, selected by HUD to test best and promising practices and implement a coordinated community plan to end youth homelessness. As part of this effort, LCHSD will be taking extra steps to ensure youth who are experiencing homelessness are captured in the 2024 PIT Count. A broader definition of homelessness will be used to count youth on the local level, which includes those who are unstably housed or couch surfing. These efforts include pop-up magnet events on the day of the count to engage with youth to complete a survey. Just as with the broader count, these surveys will be cross-referenced with our HBNL and, if the young person is not already identified, they will be included in the count. Youth surveyors will be available through the Eugene Library, Youth ERA, Lane Community College, and youth-specific outreach in the metro and rural areas on Thursday, February 1, 2024. This year’s youth PIT Count strategies have been vetted and approved through the YHDP Youth Executive committee.

The full report from the PIT Count will be made available in the Spring, following final submission to HUD.

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Changes to Lane County's storm debris drop-off locations and hours - 01/30/24

Lane County is making adjustments to its free storm debris drop-off for residents after a successful first weekend. The busiest location was the Hendricks Bridge Park drop-off with nearly 400 visitors on both Saturday and Sunday. Friday had the lowest number of visits across all sites. 

 

“I am incredibly proud of the employees who – after two weeks of non-stop work – agreed to help open these sites on the weekend to help the community,” said Lane County Road Maintenance Manager Orin Schumacher. “It isn’t a typical service that we offer and we’ve enjoyed the chance to help out.”

 

The new schedule is:

  • Hendricks Bridge (east of milepost 10 on Highway 126 E)
    • Saturday, February 3, and Sunday, February 4, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Cloverdale (Bradford Road North, just past Cloverdale Road intersection east of Creswell)
    • Saturday, February 3, and Sunday, February 4, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

 

As a reminder, these free debris drop-off sites are for residents cleaning up their private property. They are not for the use of contractors receiving payment for debris cleanup. 

 

The Sears Road site that was open this past weekend saw far fewer visitors across all three days. To be more efficient, staff there will be re-directed to the other two sites to better handle the higher traffic volume. 

 

The sites will not be open past February 4. The Hendricks Bridge Park location is expected to reach maximum capacity for debris storage after the upcoming weekend. 

 

“Last weekend was a great opportunity to see what worked and help us decide how to move forward,” said Schumacher. “We are so appreciative of people’s patience as they waited in line and their friendly approach to our staff out there. It just underscores what a great community we have here.”

 

For an overview of what the sites will accept:

 

Do bring:

  • Tree limbs and branches
  • Trees less than 24 inches in diameter (larger trees must be cut down to 24 inches in diameter or less)
  • Heavy shrubbery

 

Don’t bring:

  • Household garbage or recycling
  • Building materials, plywood, damaged siding, etc.
  • Regular yard debris (grass, mulch, etc.)
  • Rocks or earth
  • Tree root balls
  • Materials greater than 24 inches in diameter

 

People who bring garbage or other items not accepted at these sites will be turned away. For regular household garbage or other special waste, information about transfer sites is available at www.LaneCountyOR.gov/waste.

 

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Road Closure Update: Deerhorn Road Reopened - 01/29/24

Deerhorn Road reopened today, January 29. Residents are asked to drive cautiously in the area and be aware that Lane County Road Maintenance crews will continue to be working on Deerhorn Road. 


Original press release:

 

Deerhorn Road is closed between the west end and Booth Kelly Road due to the high rate of falling trees and downed power lines. Crews are currently assessing the damage and may need to extend the closure area further east on Deerhorn. There is currently no estimated time for reopening, but it is unlikely to re-open tonight. 

 

Road conditions across much of Lane County remain challenging. As temperatures fall tonight, road conditions will worsen and the likelihood for trees to fall under the weight of ice increases. If you do not need to be on the road, please stay home. 

 

Lane County Road Maintenance crews are working to keep County-maintained roads open and will continue throughout the night as long as it is safe to do so. 

 

See road closure information on www.TripCheck.com.

 

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