LEABURG, Ore. -- Like many other Lane County programs, both the homeless car camping and county parks budgets are under alot of strain.
Recently the two agencies have teamed up to bring back an old program that can give both the parks and homeless in Lane County some much needed assistance.
The homeless camping program is going rural in Lane County for the first time in two decades.
For one homeless man, what used to be a favorite park for fishing along the McKenzie River is now home sweet home.
Sam Frogner is the first participant in a new camp-host program put together by Lane County Parks and St. Vincent de Paul.
"I've driven by this place a million times. I used to hunt up here and fish." said Frogner, who was formerly homeless in Eugene. "Compared to living in my truck for 2 months, it's like being snatched out of the gates of hell and being deposited in a little piece of heaven."
Frogner's job is at the county park across from Leaburg Lake, making sure the old buildings in the park are secure.
"Making sure there isn't any vandalism going on." Frogner told KVAL News on Monday.
Saint Vincent de Paul's Lane County director, Terry McDonald, said that the city wants to see more homeless car camping in parks, which relieves some of the pressures for the program in town.
"So having a camp host that comes from the car camp program gives them the opportunity to have eyes on the park." said McDonald.
McDonald added that if this program can be expanded to other Lane County parks, it not only helps the county but also helps the main car-camping program back in town.
Frogner's move from the Alton Baker car camp in Eugene to the McKenzie River location opens up a vacancy for someone else, an example of how this project is a win-win for both programs.
Unlike the urban car camp program - Sam and his two dogs, Sparky and Jack, can stay as long as they wish.
"The county wins, the homeless win, the city of Eugene wins, city of Springfield wins and St. Vincent de Paul wins. I like the last one best," chuckles McDonald.