Homelessness

lostcoastoutpost.com / Oliver Cory

Forty-four tons of trash, three shipping containers stuffed with people’s personal belongings, and close to 150 humans: all were removed from Palco Marsh in Eureka by the city's police this week. 

  Eleven former residents of the marsh are suing the city in federal court over the eviction. Attorney Shelley Mack is representing the group, known as the Palco 11. 

Hearts With A Mission

The teen years can be tough; few people would argue. 

Families can come unglued for a variety of reasons, and Hearts With a Mission provides shelter for teens who need it. 

HWAM provides its faith-based approach out of its center in Medford, but a new facility in Grants Pass is set to open soon. 

BuzzFarmers

Many areas have more people living in them than homes to hold them all. 

Homelessness is a big issue in many towns.  It's less of an issue in parts of Utah than it used to be, the result of an effort to house people quickly ("housing first"). 

Lloyd Pendeleton is past director of the state of Utah's efforts; he speaks at a forum on homelessness in Redding on Thursday (Feb. 11). 

Wikimedia

It's like the U.S. Census, just a lot shorter and more intense.  And more difficult: trying to count people with no fixed address. 

But point-in-time (PIT) homeless counts are common across the country... a one-day reading of the numbers of people living on the streets and in the woods and homeless camps. 

The Community Alliance of Lane County, CALC, is coordinating the count in Lane County on January 27th, with training this week (Jan. 19). 

Lulu Vision

The recent death of a homeless man in Medford in cold weather prompted concerns about where people go when the weather turns bitter. 

Several cities offer emergency shelters when temps dip sharply. 

Those include Ashland, which can house some homeless people on especially cold nights. 

The Ashland Community Resource Center coordinates that and other services. 

April Dembosky/KQED

A non-profit that helps homeless people get back on their feet recently bought a historic hotel, right in the middle of downtown Fort Bragg, on California’s north coast. It plans to transform the Old Coast Hotel into a transitional housing facility and clinic. But a lot of locals want to resurrect the historic landmark as a tourist destination. 

Lulu Vision

Eugene and Ashland are two of the more desirable places to spend time on the West Coast. 

So they attract many visitors... including some who are creating issues for the rest of the population. 

Both Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and Ashland Mayor John Stromberg use the term "travelers" to describe the young, apparently unemployed people who hang around city sidewalks, asking for money and occasionally intimidating passersby. 

Both are working with their communities to find ways to address the perceived problems. 

Arcata House Partnership

Trying to get homeless people off the streets and into homes is a process that bedevils communities across the country. 

Arcata took a major step recently with the opening of Arcata Bay Crossing, described as a "supportive housing" development. 

It is the product of work by several organizations, including Arcata House Partnership, which has worked for years on solutions to homelessness. 

Robert Neff/Fifth World Art

Slowly, almost glacially, our society has begun to pull apart the many components of homelessness.

One of the main constituent groups is veterans.  And homeless vets get special attention at a number of "stand down" events around the country. 

North Coast Stand Down returns to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds this weekend (October 2-4), with a constellation of services for all veterans, not just the homeless ones. 

Wikimedia

Oregon's governor wants to make a dent in the problem of finding affordable housing in the state. 

A big dent: Kate Brown proposes spending $100 Million to build low-cost housing around the state. 

That's music to the ears of the people at Neighborhood Partnerships, an organization that works for economic opportunity and financial stability. 

Community Supported Shelters

We've been talking about homelessness for decades now.  Yet it seems like we're just beginning to understand its causes and effects... to say nothing of the people who end up homeless. 

Community Supported Shelters in Eugene had something to say. 

CSS helps shelter the homeless at places like Opportunity Village Eugene.  CSS and some partners just assembled a documentary and still-photography project, "The Dignity Project," to help people know and understand the faces and stories of homeless people. 

"Boots On The Ground" In A Good Sense

Mar 18, 2015
Wikimedia

Many communities host "Stand Down" events for homeless veterans, and most are held late in the year, just as the weather is turning colder. 

So it is with the North Coast Stand Down, set for early October in Ferndale. 

But the organizers are getting a head start on this year's event with a "Boots on the Ground" campaign. 

It's a literal thing: the idea is to buy boots for veterans in plenty of time for the autumn event. 

Criminalizing Homelessness In California

Feb 25, 2015
Wikimedia

Leaders of many cities refer to a nebulous "homeless problem."  And it appears the solution for some cities is to make being homeless a crime. 

The Policy Advocacy Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley just released a research report about the increase of laws criminalizing homelessness across California. 

The authors say the report shows California cities engaging in the practice more than cities in other states. 

Homelessness So Close It Can't Be Ignored

Jan 29, 2015
BuzzFarmers

The invitation to Southern Oregon University students is plain: "you will confront your fears and stereotypes surrounding homelessness." 

Students have been invited to take part in a Homelessness Immersion Experience in Portland in February. 

Participants will visit homeless camps and perform volunteer work as part of the project. 

Egan Warming Centers

Many communities with significant homeless populations also lack significant shelters to house them. 

But the situation changes when the temperature drops. 

Eugene is home to the Egan Warming Centers, named for a homeless man who froze to death several years ago. 

Why So Many Homeless Students

Nov 25, 2014
Wikimedia

The most recent numbers show more Oregon students are homeless than a year earlier. 

737 more students, to be exact… more than the populations of most elementary schools. 

Medford's Maslow Project is an organization dedicated to fulfilling at least some of the needs of homeless young people. 

Bundling Up The Homeless On Cold Nights

Nov 12, 2014
Lulu Vision

Colder weather requires robust survival skills for people living on the streets. 

And it places some burden on communities seeking to keep homeless people from freezing. 

Ashland is in the process of adding shelter space for the cold winter nights ahead. 

Homelessness Declines Sharply In Oregon

Nov 6, 2014
BuzzFarmers

The Great Recession doubtless had a hand in the rise in the numbers of homeless people across the country. 

The numbers peaked in 2010, when new federal programs to reduce homelessness began. 

Now the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development--HUD--reports homelessness in decline.  It's an especially steep decline in Oregon, noticed by the state Department of Housing and Community Services

Liam Moriarty/JPR

Most of us take for granted that we can have a hot shower pretty much anytime we like.  But for people without a home, such basic personal hygiene can be a rare luxury. Now, in Ashland, community groups have come together to create a solution that meets the simple human need for cleanliness with dignity and compassion.

Taylor Winkle/Northwest News Network

Across the country more than one million kids may not know where they’re going to sleep tonight.

It could be in a car, on a friend’s couch, in a homeless shelter, or even on the street. In Oregon, there are more than 20,000 homeless students, in California, nearly a quarter million. And for these kids getting their homework done is the least of their problems.

Now a unique program out of Tacoma is trying to help those kids do better in school, one family at a time.

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