Eugene city councilors on Wednesday initiated the expansion of the “rest stop” program that provides temporary and legal shelter to homeless people.

In a series of votes — including a rare tie-breaker by Mayor Kitty Piercy — the councilors moved to make permanent the three-year-old pilot project and schedule a future discussion to flesh out the details on how to expand the homeless camps — now concentrated in or near the Whiteaker neighborhood — to other parts of Eugene.

The council intends to start small and eventually, with cooperation from neighborhood associations, put at least one rest stop in each of the eight council wards.

The council acknowledged that the move might worry some residents, so they directed city staff members to reach out to neighborhoods to provide education about the rest stops and show how they differ from the illegal camps along the riverfront and other areas.

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