White Bird Clinic reacts after Right to Rest Bill dies in Oregon legislature

"Right now, there are thousands of people on the streets. Here in Eugene, over 3,000 unsheltered. We can't just keep moving people along. There needs to be more car camping spots and places for people to tent camps."

Posted: May 8, 2021 7:50 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- After the Right to Rest bill failed to move out of committee in the Oregon state legislature, proponents of the bill are speaking out. One of them is White Bird Clinic in Eugene.

Heather Sielicki is the clinic's operations coordinator. She said if the bill had passed, it would have stopped the government from relocating members of the unhoused population.

"Right now, there are thousands of people on the streets. Here in Eugene, over 3,000 unsheltered," Sielicki said. "We can't just keep moving people along. There needs to be more car camping spots and places for people to tent camps."

Sielicki said this is not the first time this bill has been introduced in the state's legislature, but this time it received more support than ever before.

"The pandemic has really made visible the extent of our homelessness crisis as well as just the ongoing stigma around mental health and poverty in our community," Sielicki said.

The White Bird Clinic is an organization in Eugene that aims to assist undeserved communities including the city's unhoused and disabled populations.

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