Douglas Counties Homeless Crisis

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Douglas Counties Homeless Crisis

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Edward Wright, Co-Editor

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Julianna Marez  works with kids who are facing homelessness each and every day. She gives them rides to school, laundry, enrollment, referrals, and she does a monthly paper to inform people what’s going on. One question I asked her that stuck out to me was:  “What are some steps we can take to try to have less homeless in our community?” She responded with “building more shelters outside of roseburg because a big percentage of shelters are right here in Roseburg”  According to Marez, a homeless liaison, Douglas County’s biggest problem is economics and lack of affordable housing. When a person is trying to get an apartment, on low income housing, HUD sets an amount they can receive but oftentimes have to try and get a place and half of the housing is way too expensive for the amount they give us. The city of Roseburg has a group called Homeless Transitions Action Group: “The Roseburg office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon has the following as one of their goals: To improve the quality of housing available to low income, elderly, and disabled people and to ensure landlord compliance with both Fair Housing laws and Residential Landlord Tenant Act.” They have monthly meetings downtown. They also have every Saturdays at noon called “Feed the Burg,” and they feed the homeless or anyone who needs it.

Homeless has always been a problem. At Roseburg High School, 15 kids took a survey and out of those 15, 75% think that the leading cause to this homelessness is drug and alcohol abuse. 25% believe its because they were born into it, always being poor. It is a ongoing problem that is not getting fixed. According to a article from the Ending Homeless  “It is believed that the origin of homelessness is traced back during colonial America. As early as 1640, the English “vagrants” were listed as outcast individuals and the police were after them. The homeless people were regarded as “Sturdy beggars” in the mid eighteenth century and they were found in every corner of the colonial towns.”  We will never know if we can end it, but we can do a lot to decrease the percentage of people who live on the streets.

There are many solutions we can do to try and decrease the amount of homeless. Including providing more housing for the homeless. This would create less people on the street and more people in homes, especially during the winter time. If the program builds apartments for low income people, and they paid everything except the rent, then it would seem acceptable, but having them pay for water, electric, garbage, etc is too much to ask. The cost for this would be extremely high, but why can cities build new buildings for useless stuff for an example brand new buildings for newer Amazon, law firms, grocery stores, etc, when they can put that money into the fund for building the homeless shelters. Advantages of this would result in cleaner streets less people freezing to the point of almost death. It can decrease the fear they have of where they are going to sleep tonight. The disadvantages of this is having to find the space for it getting, the money for building the shelters, and getting it approved.

Another solution for this ongoing problem would be, creating more jobs for them. A lot of homeless people have the qualifications it takes to work in places but as soon as a employer sees the homeless guy/girl walking in they would automatically deny the person the job based off how he/she looks.This would achieve by letting them get the experience of a working day and have the money to be able to feed themselves. The advantages of this is them being able to have a job, able to buy food, pay rent, etc.The disadvantages is it would eliminate other people from getting a job who is trying to support themselves and a family as well.Taking the risk of hiring someone who has never most likely have a job before.The cost would be a lack of jobs for other people, but it will benefit more because there will be less people on the streets.Most kids at RHS in Roseburg Oregon agree that this is a problem people are facing. Marez says that there are 126 homeless students in the school district. They could use this to help with there life.

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Douglas Counties Homeless Crisis