Homelessness in the Pacific Northwest

Homeless in Washington WA.

"Homelessness is not an adventure you will want to experience."

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Homelessness in the Pacific Northwest.

Homelessness in the Pacific Northwest
By Don Doman

Homeless in Washington WA.

I've never seen a statistic that identifies homeless people as happy campers, but I have seen those sentiments expressed by so many on Facebook. Drugs can be either a result of being homeless or the cause. It depends on the person involved. Eventhough a large percentage of our homeless are involved in either drug or alcohol addiction, those addictions should be viewed as illness.

Some of the key economic factors that contribute to homelessness are home foreclosures, lack of affordable healthcare, overwhelming medical costsm loss of job opportunities, changes in the American workforce, lack of public assistance programs, increased rental and lease rates, and a general lack of affordable housing.

"Due to decades of misguided and faulty policies, homelessness is a serious problem. Over half a million people go homeless on a single night in the United States. Approximately 65 percent are found in homeless shelters, and the other 35 percent-just under 200,000-are found unsheltered on our streets (in places not intended for human habitation, such as sidewalks, parks, cars, or abandoned buildings). Homelessness almost always involves people facing desperate situations and extreme hardship. They must make choices among very limited options, often in the context of extreme duress, substance abuse disorders, untreated mental illness, or unintended consequences from well-intentioned policies. Improved policies that address the underlying causes of the problem and more effectively serve some of the most vulnerable members of society are needed." - The State of Homelessness in America - 41 page report

Here in the Pacific Northwest homelessness is a problem. Even with global warming, our winters can still be unbearable if you are trying to exist in a small tent.

Homeless in Seattle Washington WA.

On January 23, 2018, the street count of homeless individuals was 6320, the number of homeless individuals in Emergency Shelters was 3,585, and the number of homeless individuals in transitional housing was 2,285, for a total count of 12,112 homeless people.

"While every single person experiencing homelessness in Seattle has their own story, what is true across Seattle is the need to help our neighbors move to safer places as we work together to build a better future for all who call Seattle home." - Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan.

Homeless in Portland Oregon OR.

A new report estimates about 2% of the Portland metro area's population, or 38,000 people, were homeless at some point in 2017. The report provides a simple, if rough, estimate of the scale of homelessness regionwide - in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties - over a single year.

"My budget increases funding to prevent homelessness, provide shelter for those living outside in the elements, and - most importantly - guide people into permanent housing while connecting them to the services they need to get off and stay off the streets." Portland Mayor Mayor Wheeler

Homeless in Tacoma Washington WA.

A one day survey in Pierce Count gave the total number of homeless - 1,762; 1,352 adults and 410 children.

"We are doing something. Is it enough? It's not enough until every homeless person has a place to go. And as a council we recognize that, and staff recognizes that. But it takes time and processes and we're working as fast and as quickly as we can to do as much as we can to solve this problem." Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards

Homeless in Eugene Oregon OR.

Last year there were 1,642 homeless people in Eugene and Lane County: 1,135 living on the streets, 412 staying in emergency shelter and 95 living in short-term housing.

"Some people say we are doing too much. That improving services only serves as a magnet for the impoverished. While others say we are not doing enough. Either way, the continued suffering in our midst is unconscionable." - Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis

"Half of all homeless people are in one of five states - California (129,972), New York (91,897), Florida (31,030), Texas (25,310) and Washington (22,304). It is primarily an urban issue and more than half of the homeless population are scattered across the country's 50 biggest cities." - https://www.statista.com/chart/6949/the-us-cities-with-the-most-homeless-people/

In an article about Portland's homeless issues 2020 Commissioner Candidate Jack Kerfoot mentions what the city of San Antonio has done to fight the problem. It's something that the Pacific Northwest should be trying. "Haven for Hope in San Antonio, Texas is recognized as one of, if not the best program to help the homeless. The city of San Antonio brought the private sector and charities together to develop this exceptional program. If we truly want to help our homeless, why can't Portland develop a program that has proven to be successful?"

Homeless in Eugene Oregon OR.

Here is the approach the Haven for Hope takes with people who are homeless: "Haven for Hope and our partners, address the root causes of homelessness by offering programming tailored to the specific needs of the individual. Our approach is person-centered, trauma-informed and recovery-oriented. The goal is to meet individuals where they are and support them as they move toward self-sufficiency."

Kerfoote says, "Mayor Wheeler supports the HUD model which is housing 1st & treatment latter which fails to recognize that addicts need treatment 1st." Here is a brochure from Haven for Hope - Haven for Hope Brochure

Even with a continueing good economy and low unemployment, we are still falling behind in our battle against homelessness. The solutions are there. We just need to implement them. This problem will not go away on its own.

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We enjoy meeting people and we expect to have a wonderful time when we travel. Our expectations are almost always met. If you have a favorite restaurant or a favorite hotel, where they offer exceptional service, please, share your favorites with us. Or if you have a B&B, hotel, or restaurant that you would like us to try and then include in our stories tell about what you have. No matter what, please share your thoughts.

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If you come to Tacoma, you have to see: Chinese Reconciliation Park, Ruston Way, Point Defiance, TAM (Tacoma Art Museum), Tacoma Narrow's Bridge, America's Car Museum (LeMay Museum), and our Museum of Glass. If you come to Seattle, you have to see: Pike Place Market with the flying salmon, the Wing Luke Museum, Pioneer Square, the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and Volunteer Park. The list goes on and on . . . well, you get the idea . . . come to our Pacific Northwest for any number of reasons . . . come to visit or come to stay . . . you will be welcome.

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Homelessness in the Pacific Northwest