Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Who looks after Lincoln City’s “unvetted” homeless population?

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Lincoln City Homepage Letters to the editor

Although I genuinely support any well-intentioned attempt the city takes in acknowledging its responsibility to provide shelter of any kind for its homeless population, I can’t help but note the huge difference between the support that the city recently gave to the Helping Hands non-profit ($750,000 up front!) in its mission to provide “transitional housing,” primarily for the City’s “vetted” homeless – compared to the support the City reluctantly allocated over the years to the now dissolved Lincoln City Emergency Warming Shelter (LCWS) non-profit, which primarily served the “unvetted” homeless.

From its inception, LCWS was both underfunded and legally encumbered by the city, both before and after it briefly occupied the old Taft Fire House, which the city forced it to vacate, leaving LCWS with the only option to merge with the newly established, north Lincoln City C.H.A.N.C.E. non-profit, which (even though it primarily serves the “vetted” homeless) the city eventually hamstrung legally, once again leaving a significant portion of the City’s homeless problem (mostly “unvetted”) to our churches to solve this winter.

In that regard, a big “Thank You!” is due from our community to the First Baptist Church and its neighbors!

Jay Roelof, Lincoln City

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The views and opinions expressed in letters to the editor are not necessarily those of Lincoln City Homepage.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. This is a problem for our whole county. “Vetted” or “unvetted”, these are human beings! This is a difficult conundrum for the tax-paying residents who have to think of the safety of our families and property, but still see the desperation of the problem. Everyone is all for tiny home villages, but not too close to our homes, schools or businesses. We all know that twinge of pity mixed with annoyance at the panhandling. We all want something done, but no one seems to have an answer that will give a sense of security to the majority, while still serving those who need a helping hand.
    I have been deeply saddened by the recent deaths of homeless individuals in our community, and especially the woman who was sleeping in a driveway in Portland, and was run over. These human beings are so overlooked, that we don’t feel their existence until we have run them over with all four tires. Let that sink in. All. Four. Tires.
    My family has been homeless. We have slept in our car. We have been hassled by the same cops who now call us “Sir” and “Ma’am” when they speak to us, the only difference is that we own our home, so they can’t run us off any longer. I know what it’s like to go from day to day, just reaching for a thread of hope, and the defeat of hearing rejection due to “lack of funds”.
    I don’t have the answers, but I know that it’s going to take more than arguing amongst ourselves to solve the problem. I also believe that by listening to our homeless, and people like me who have been there, we can find short and long term solutions that lift up our whole community.
    If you have a good idea that has worked in another state or country, and you think it might work here, start submitting the ideas to city counsel, instead of showing up with empty complaints. Bring solutions to the table! The same goes for our unhomed citizens, make your voice heard! You are on the front lines. You know what the people need, and people are searching for answers. Write letters to the editor, submit short, clear ideas to city counsel. Advocate for yourself and those who need your voice today.
    I believe in our community. We have our struggles, but Lincoln County also has some of the most wonderful, charitable, compassionate and kind people I have ever met. I have lived in 6 different states, visited every state in the western half of our country, and visited 3 countries. I wouldn’t want to call any other place on earth; home.
    Love & light to ALL.

  2. We’re one of the close neighbors of the First Baptist Church. Whenever the pastors and members have opened their doors to the homeless people of our community as a warming shelter, we have never heard nor seen anyone behaving inappropriately. The have been extremely quiet, and almost invisible except when someone is using an ashtray pole located at one corner of the property. It’s here that I must mention that they have been far better neighbors than a great many people who rent the surrounding vacation homes.

  3. Lincoln City is my adopted second home city. No matter where I roam it holds a special place in my heart and memories. I am so sad that it, like so many cities is plagued with the homeless dilemma. I hope the citizens and city gov’t will step up and work to find solutions. I’m shocked that this has