Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Transitional housing: Helping Hands meet-and-greet at City Hall

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Helping Hands Lincoln City
City Manager Ron Chandler “redirects” a question asked to Helping Hands at a Thursday, Jan. 30 meet-and-greet

The City of Lincoln City hosted a meet-and-greet with the public for Helping Hands Reentry Thursday, Jan. 30, where CEO Alan Evans gave a presentation on the structure and functions of homeless outreach services and transitional housing.

“We live in a society that makes it hard to make ends meet,” Evans said. “Everybody deserves a chance. Everybody has a story.”

During the presentation, Evans covered the evaluation process that allows Helping Hands staff to pinpoint needs and roadmaps to success. He went over data the outreach center collects and how it helps the nonprofit get the homeless back on their feet with housing and breaking down barriers to employment.

Helping Hands Lincoln City
Helping Hands CEO Alan Evans presents homeless outreach services before the public in City Council chambers

Lincoln City citizen Jay Roelof said Helping Hands had a great opportunity to do some good work in Lincoln City and brought up the “unvetted” homeless population problem. 

Lincoln City Homeless Solutions President Lynne Rudstrom spoke in favor for the transitional housing venture.

Local business owner Randy Mallette asked pointed questions to Evans, drawing the City Manager’s attention with a reminder to stay within the bounds of the meeting’s purpose.

Evans fielded Mallette’s question, “where people go after the program,” but the question was ultimately redirected by City Manager Ron Chandler who wanted to keep the discussion geared towards “meeting Helping Hands.”

“We’ve never failed to place a person in housing,” Evans said. “We do the best we can.”

Evans gave a tentative timeline for placement of homeless in permanent housing at around 6-8 months with a “cap” of 18 months, but cautioned everyone’s needs are different and it was hard to give an exact date.

“I’ve got a million questions,” Mallette said.

“And I’ve got a million answers,” Chandler replied. “Grab a card from the back and contact me after the meeting.”

Lincoln Woods Apartments and Ashley Inn & Suites owners were at the meeting but acting on advice from their lawyer, declined to ask questions or engage with Helping Hands, who reportedly hired an attorney in response to a legal challenge of the City and Helping Hands’ transitional housing deal.

Mallette asked questions surrounding the deal and was told there would be no discussion about any legal issues.

City Council members were not in attendance.

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Justin Werner
Justin Werner
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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  1. City Manager Ron Chandler sounds testy when it comes to explaining why he thought it was OK to spend $750,000,00 of taxpayers money on a backdoor deal. An arrangement that had no meaningful public input or support. How does buying property from a private source then giving that property away to a non profit organization that should have purchased the property themselves. At the same time providing the financing for renovations. That’s a double whammy to taxpayers. Just how much involvement does City Manager Ron Chandler have in this venture? How close is he to the sellers? Relatives, friends or business partners.
    The public deserves a lot more information before this is allowed to continue. Chandler states “And I’ve got a million answers,” it’s time for Ron to speak up and explain himself in a public forum. Because now taxpayers are going to have to pay in a lawsuit as well!

  2. Thank you, Paul for your great comments. WE feel the same way at our house. What is going on there??? It is not in the interest of the taxpayers and we have no “sayso” in any of it. We will not be attending any more of their meetings and we have gone many times, with no results whatsoever. That building has had many sleazy people sleeping outside on metal beds, garbage strung everywhere. It is close within feet of the covered crosswalk and a hang out for many even after being told to move on. What will happen if they move into that building? Bad for all the city. You think they are harmless, but as a woman they