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Housing Services Now Available at LTD's Eugene Station

July 2, 2024

Lane Transit District has launched two unique initiatives to help better connect the community with transportation and other services.

LTD hired Sarah Koski to be its first Community Resource Liaison. Koski will help LTD provide more comprehensive services to its passengers by serving as a touchpoint between the District, the area’s unhoused population, and local non-profit organizations.

“Our community has complex needs that require a range of viable and intentional solutions,” said Jameson Auten, LTD’s Chief Executive Officer. “Collaboratively focusing on understanding community needs and priorities to better inform transit-related decisions creates a more robust and healthier community.”

LTD and its riders initially benefitted from the community liaison concept when it rolled out its new carry-on policy earlier this year. Due to safety and sanitary hazards, the new policy limited the size and number of bags a rider can bring onto the bus, impacting community members who rely on can and bottle redemption for their income.

“We started meeting with members of the unhoused community weeks before the policy change,” said Sarah Koski, LTD’s Community Resource Liaison. “This allowed LTD to both create an understanding of why the policy was changing and to get feedback from those who’d be most affected by the change. We wanted to bring lived experience advisors to the table, as well as develop stronger partnerships with social service agencies and shelters. The results of this work are significant.”

Additionally, access to housing and other holistic, wrap around services are now available at LTD’s Eugene Station. LTD has partnered with the Reveille Foundation, an organization that supports underserved populations like veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and Native Americans.

At Reveille’s Eugene Station Navigation Center, unhoused individuals can receive a Front Door Assessment. For veterans, Reveille employees can conduct a veteran navigation, which connects them to specific programs like getting registered with Veterans Affairs, job training, mental health services, and more.  

“There’s no lack of benefits and opportunities,” said Steve Yamamori, President and CEO of Reveille. “It’s just that people aren’t aware of them and they often find the system difficult to navigate. We’re here to support them.”

Eugene has the highest per capita rate of homelessness in the United States. Statistically, around 30% of the unhoused population are veterans. To qualify for Lane County housing programs, individuals must undergo a Front Door Assessment - a series of questions about things they experienced while homeless and any barriers to housing – and there aren’t many places that offer Front Door Assessments in the Eugene-Springfield area.

“Working with the Reveille Foundation and our Community Resource Liaison are just some of the ways LTD can be a proactive partner in community solutions,” said Pat Walsh, LTD’s Chief Marketing Officer. “LTD looks forward to working alongside other government agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations to figure out how to best serve our community.”

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