Overwhelming opposition in political circles and on social media have caused Grace Wins Haven to withdraw from its arrangement to house Lincoln City’s homeless at its warming shelter in Newport.
Traci Flowers, who oversees the Newport shelter North County homeless would be bused to, said Newport Mayor-elect Dean Sawyer adamantly opposes Lincoln City City Manager Ron Chandler’s plan and doesn’t want to begin relationships with the new city government on a sour note.
“I’m not going to be a part of this unless the City is behind it,” Flowers said. “I don’t think it’s a great idea, but I’m not going to let people die.”
Efforts to reach Sawyer and Newport City Manager Spencer Nebel for comment have gone unanswered.
Lincoln City Warming Shelter President Patrick Alexander said busing his clients to Newport can only be considered “a short-term stopgap measure” while a local site is worked out.
Chandler has scheduled two meetings this week to discuss overnight housing in the Taft area – 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, at the Driftwood Public Library, and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at the North Lincoln County Historical Museum.
Announcement of the plan, first posted yesterday (Sunday, Nov. 18) on Homepage and shared on Facebook, has generated nearly 8,000 views, with the vast majority of users expressing disdain and condemning the plan.