Amidst crackdowns, there's still help for the homeless

Amidst crackdowns, there's still help for the homeless

EUGENE, Ore. - Land managers shut down illegal homeless camps in the West Eugene Wetlands this summer.

The Eugene Mission has had to reduce the number of people they can house at night.

And facing a sanitation problem, the county closed a plaza to the public this week and kicked out people camped there.

"It's hard being out on the streets," said Michael Ledings.

"It's really hard, because this is the town I considered my home," said Carlton Irving Smith. "I fell in love here, I lost love here, and things happened."

That doesn't mean there aren't organizations working to help people in need.

"It's definitely a struggle right now," said Victoria Connoloy, a patron at Catholic Community Services. "I'm unemployed and seeking work. It's a struggle."

Catholic Community Services in Eugene provide food and resources to people in need.

"Being homeless is a full-time job for some of these folks, just surviving," said Jackie Gilbert at CAtholic Community Services. "We have seen an increase in the number of people we serve, especially after they shut down the wetlands and stuff like that."

Food for Lane County is seeing more consistent patrons.

"What we're seeing now is a situation that used to be an emergency situation for people, or a crisis situation, it's turning more now into a chronic situation," said Karen Edmunds at Food for Lane County.

The help is appreciated.

"I am going 10 days until I can get some money together for food, so it's really nice to be able to count on them," Connoloy said.

"Sometimes once you kind of get behind the eight ball, you're on your heels and it's kind of hard to keep moving forward," said Matt Gray, who is homeless. "The way i'm looking at it, is just take baby steps, you know."