Rest Stop Program FAQ

By the City of Eugene

What is a rest stop?
A rest stop is a designated area within city limits that has been approved by the Eugene City Council where up to 20 people are allowed to sleep in tents or Conestoga Huts. Unless for security or health reasons, residents vacate the site during the day and a limited number of visitors are permitted during designated hours. There are currently four rest stops in Eugene that provide a temporary, safe, legal option for people experiencing homelessness. The City enters into an agreement with a nonprofit organization to manage the rest stops and the
program must be periodically renewed by the City Council.

How are sites selected?
The City and County are trying their best to find workable rest stop sites that minimize impacts to neighbors and sensitive areas. Sites are not located in parks, environmentally sensitive areas, within residential neighborhoods or close to schools. The land must be suitable to camping and have road access. Central locations with access to public transportation and services are preferable. These conditions make it very challenging to site a rest stop. We will continue to try to
balance the needs and views of all community members when selecting sites.

Who pays for the rest stops?
The cost of establishing and operating each rest stop is paid for and managed by a nonprofit organization. The City of Eugene, Lane County, and the Eugene Mission provide the land.

Who stays at rest stops?
Individuals 18 or over who are experiencing homelessness are eligible to apply for a space at a rest stop. Applicants are screened to determine if they are a good fit. Rest stops are intended to be a temporary respite and the managing nonprofit works to connect residents with support and resources to help them move toward a more sustainable housing solution.

How are rest stops kept healthy and safe?
Residents sign agreements to abide by rest stop rules and an onsite manager provides supervision. Best practices for water, handling and preparing food, cooking and cleaning, heating, waste management and illness prevention are followed. There is zero tolerance for violent behavior or alcohol and drug use onsite. Children must be supervised and are prohibited from staying overnight. Portable restrooms and trash collection are provided. Residents are expected to keep the site tidy, refrain from disruptive behavior and be good neighbors. The sites are also fenced to control access and promote safety.

Why do we need rest stops?
There is simply not enough affordable shelter for the high numbers of people who are experiencing homelessness in our area. The rest stop option helps alleviate this need. Residents report that having a secure and safe place to sleep is crucial in helping them access services and find long-term, stable housing.