Homelessness

BuzzFarmers

There are many anecdotes about homeless people, but not so many firm figures.  It's just hard to count people who do not live in one place all the time, especially when the people sleep out of doors. 

But the point-in-time (PIT) homeless count attempts to track homeless people in Oregon every other January. 

The numbers are out for this year; they show Jackson County with one of the higher populations of homeless veterans in Oregon. 

Access, Inc. led the point-in-time study this year. 

Wikimedia

The story is the same in many of our communities: renting a house is costly. 

Lots of people want housing, and the supply is low, driving up the price and keeping vacancies rare.  Now a minimum wage job can't provide enough money for even a basic apartment. 

Those are findings from the National Low Income Housing Coalition

We dive into the numbers with Diane Yentel, the president of NLIHC. 

Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity

It's almost like an old-fashioned barn-raising, the way Habitat for Humanity works. 

People with home-building skills come together with a soon-to-be homeowner and work together to build the house. 

Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity marks 30 years on the job this year, with activity in Medford and several other communities. 

Public Domain

Even people who can afford homes are aware of how tight the rental market is. 

From Eugene to Redding, vacancy rates hover around one or two percent.  Which makes rental housing hard to find AND expensive.  The situation contributes to homelessness as well. 

In the city of Redding, the Community Revitalization and Development Corporation works to bring up the numbers of affordable housing units. 

Living outside is never easy, but it could be deadly this time of year.

A Portland man living on the street succumbed to hypothermia Monday, as temperatures plunged into the teens.

We hear about efforts in Lane County to keep people warm during dangerously cold times of year. Groups like St. Vincent De Paul are providing warming shelters from Dec. 1 to March 31 this year, longer than ever before thanks to a bump in state funding.

Ashland also provides cold-weather shelters.  Our guest is William Wise, Director First Place Family Center for St. Vincent De Paul Lane County. 

Opportunity Village Eugene

It took a while, but Medford is ready to break ground on a tiny-house village to house homeless people while they get back on their feet. 

Hope Village will be located on Columbus Avenue in Medford, on a city-owned piece of property. 

Rogue Retreat and the Jackson County Homeless Task Force are working together on the village. 

Zoey/http://www.livetiny365.com/

The tiny house movement came on suddenly. 

People who needed homes or wanted smaller homes embraced the idea of living in houses that contain square footage in dozens, not hundreds, of square feet. 

But building codes written for fixed structures often have no place for tiny houses. 

So tiny house builder Andrew Morrison has been working on getting tiny houses included in the International Residential Building Code (IRC). 

Covering The Homeless, Up Close

Aug 19, 2016
mikerhodes.us

Mike Rhodes got closer than a lot of people to understanding life on the streets. 

For more than a decade, he documented homeless people and their treatment in Fresno, for the Community Alliance newspaper. 

The treatment including the occasional bulldozing of homeless encampments by the city. 

Rhodes compiles his work from those years into a book called Dispatches From The War Zone

Ashland Homeless Activists Forced To Move

Aug 19, 2016
gofundme.com

The very same tides that an Ashland family helps other people navigate may sweep them out of town. 

Jason and Vanessa Houk are community activists, working on behalf of homeless people and many other community causes.  Now the high cost of Ashland real estate--the home they rent is being sold--may drive them out of the town they love and serve. 

Just as you'd expect of activists, they're working a number of avenues to stay in town, including a gofundme.com campaign. 

Homeless Teen Shelter Takes Shape In Eugene

Jul 20, 2016
Wikimedia

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about having a roof over your head. 

But plenty of teens have that worry; enough in the Eugene area to prompt the creation of a shelter for homeless high school students. 

The Saint Vincent De Paul Society of Lane County bought a vacant church in South Eugene with the intention of housing more than a dozen homeless students. 

If all goes as planned, it could open in the fall of 2017. 

VENTSday: Homeless Laws + Recycling Ease

Jul 12, 2016
Lulu Vision

Our VENTSday segment is meant to put anybody and everybody on the air with cogent comments about topics in the news.  But not everybody has easy access. 

So this week, in talking about appropriate laws, regulations, and supports for homeless, we hit the streets. 

Conversations with a handful of homeless people in Ashland are meant to spur further discussion from you, live at 800-838-3760 or JX@jeffnet.org

Our alternate topic this week--and our survey--follows our conversation about curbside food waste recycling: what do you need to recycle more? 

VENTSday is a once-a-week chance to vent on news topics. 

Social Services To Stay In Downtown Ft. Bragg

Jun 8, 2016
April Dembosky/KQED

Voters in Ft. Bragg have rejected a proposed ban on social service organizations in the town’s downtown area. 

While it would have applied to a wide range of non-profits, Measure U was aimed squarely at Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center. 

Homeless and Evicted in Eureka

May 3, 2016
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. 

Utah Homelessness Guru Visits Redding

Feb 8, 2016
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). 

Keeping Homeless People Alive In The Cold

Jan 11, 2016
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. 

Help For The Homeless: Arcata Bay Crossing

Oct 8, 2015
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. 

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