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Alleviating the homeless crisis in the Mid-Willamette Valley

Thursday, March 29, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristine Thomas
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On a chilly, rainy morning, an elderly man with a grizzled beard and long hair swiftly pushed his shopping cart overflowing with his worldly possessions along a downtown sidewalk.

Makeshift, faded curtains covered the van windows, parked next to a public restroom. Wearing pajama pants and an oversized sweatshirt, a woman in her early 30s emerged to use the facilities, returned to the van and drove away.

Nestled in a blue sleeping bag, a man camped for the night in downtown business’ archway with his two dogs by his side.

Different times, days and towns but the scenes are indicative of a situation observed more frequently in cities in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties.

From camping under bridges to park pavilions and living in their cars to deserted buildings, the increasing number of homeless people has multiple impacts on cities in the Mid-Willamette Valley.

To gain perspective on what private and public organizations are undertaking to address the situation, SEDCOR is hosting “Alleviating the homeless crisis in the Mid-Willamette Valley” at noon on Wednesday, April 11 at Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway St. NE in Salem.

 

SEDCOR invites everyone who is concerned about the homeless crisis in their city to attend SEDCOR’s forum lunch to learn more about what is being done to address the problem and how they can help.


Guest speakers Connor McDonnell of Oregon Housing and Community Services,
Jimmy Jones, Ph.D., of The Arches Project, Mid-Willamette Community Agency and Andy Wilch of Salem Housing Authority will address the problems that lead to homelessness including lack of affordable housing and limited services for veterans, seniors, domestic violence victims, and runaway and homeless youth. They also will share the work being done by each of their agencies to assist the homeless population, including defining what it means to be homeless and the different homeless groups.  

 

“Chronic homelessness has reached a crisis point in the State of Oregon," Jones said.  "Failing to address the epidemic of high needs homelessness in our state impacts community costs and resources in ways most folks never dreamed imaginable. We have a unique opportunity to act now, and get ahead of this problem before it completely overwhelms our jails, hospitals, and social services.”

 

People working to address homelessness have stated the affordable housing shortage and homeless crisis are directly related.

 

A critical community problem, government officials, nonprofit organizations and business leaders are looking for a long-term, strategic investments and policy decisions to generate change for people.

 

SEDCOR invites everyone who is concerned about the homeless crisis in their city to attend SEDCOR’s forum lunch to learn more about what is being done to address the problem and how they can help.

 

To register for the lunch, please visit www.sedcor.com and click on events by Tuesday, April 10.


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