Citizens and employees of Jefferson Westside take time to express the pros’ and cons’ about their community.
The Jefferson Westside neighborhood is home to many local Eugene businesses. At one local business, Sweet Life, some customers and a worker took time to discuss their feeling about their neighborhood. Noting the positive aspects of the neighborhood, these individuals also express areas that they felt could use improvement.
One customer, Shelbie Raife is an avid Sweet Life fan. Raife has lived in Eugene for eleven years and says that her favorite part of the Jefferson Westside neighborhood would have to be Sweet Life. As Raife bites in to a decadent treat she adds, “I like Ring of Fire other than that there is not a whole lot of good restaurants.” Other aspects of the neighborhood Raife thinks could use some improvement are the roads. The Lane Community College student notes that, “The rest of the area is kind of ghetto.”
Aaron Sullivan has worked at Sweet Life for four and a half years. Sullivan has lived in Eugene his entire life. The hard-working employee enjoys working for the local business saying, “It’s like family.” However, the close-knit employees of Sweet Life also support many other businesses within the neighborhood. Sullivan says that these local businesses employ ”People who actually care about what they are doing.” The neighborhood has many diverse businesses throughout the community. Sullivan notes that the neighborhood has, “improved a lot in the last ten years.” He pointed out a park where he used to have to worry about stepping on needles. Though there has been some improvement, Sullivan believes that the neighborhood still needs to lower its crime rate and clean up the streets.
Erin Moore and Monta Bloom take a break from their busy day to hang out at Sweet Life with their newborns. Bloom has lived in Eugene for six years. Moore used to live in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood. She first moved to Eugene ten years ago. Moore’s favorite restaurants in the neighborhood are Laughing Planet, Sweet Life and the Fish Market. Moore remarks that the neighborhood “esthetically needs some help.” She adds that the neighborhood should try to improve the homeless population as well as the many abandoned areas. While living in the neighborhood, Moore did enjoy the access she had to the river.
The community is proud of the many local businesses that surround the Jefferson Westside neighborhood. These local businesses give the neighborhood a unique vibe and energy. While the local businesses add charm to Eugene as a whole, it is clear that many of the citizens that call Jefferson Westside home see a need for improvement.