As Salem works on short-term fix on homelessness, more questions on long-term efforts – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-05-27 21:00:00 –

Salem, Oregon (KOIN) — The city of Salem has allowed people to camp for over a year, and after hearing protests from people living nearby, from June 1st, the city of homeless people will soon be on the market. Move from the park. However, as the city is working towards a short-term solution, questions remain about the long-term solution.

First, the Salem City Council banned people from sitting or lying on the sidewalk in the spring of 2020. The mayor said it was an effort to prevent homeless people from camping in front of downtown businesses.

However, during the pandemic, the city decided to allow hundreds of campers to stay in Wallace Marine Park and Cascade Gateway Park.

Since then, neighbors have told KOIN 6 News that there have been crimes and human casualties.

Collie Pool, chairman of the South East Mill Creek Neighborhood Association, said a nearby park is now a place of human suffering.

“It was completely destroyed. That is, there was a pile of garbage and there was a fire. We died, were stabbed, and the crime rate in the area soared. There was virtually no oversight,” he said. I told 6 News.

The pool says the city left people in the camp with little or no facilities or running water, and crime and fear of crime are now affecting the neighborhood next to the park for the elderly.

“It’s so bad because the city council didn’t want to see them downtown.” If you put them next to the old people, they won’t complain, “said Paradise Island Park. Resident Kathy Rains said. “We have been held hostage for 16 months and they are just talking, talking, talking, talking.”

KOIN 6 News visited the camp and talked to the people who lived there. Jennifer Dows, a 30-year-old with a disability, said she hasn’t been in or out of the house for the last decade and hates prejudice.

“Some people are really good here, some aren’t there … or I like to start fights and general things, but not all of us are bad,” she said. T.

Rosa Morton is fighting in the same way.

“I know I’ve witnessed people who are literally fainted by overdose, violence, unmitigated violence, and lack of the support they need,” she told KOIN 6 News. “They aren’t trying to get out of the system, they’re the people who hurt the system, because the government isn’t behaving as it should.”

Salem’s homeless advocates have a mission to secure the most difficult homes to connect with resources, and allowing them to camp in the park has helped track down those in need, but it doesn’t work. Said it wasn’t.

“It wasn’t densely controlled and caused many casualties in the camp. It wasn’t always a safe place,” said Ashley Hamilton, Program Director, Mid Willamette Valley Community Action Agency. ..

Mayor of Salem, Chuck Bennett, told KOIN 6 News in the same way.

“What we actually got was an excess of these two major parks in our community, and the public really, of course, complained and began to be very worried. “He said.

There are also crimes caught by surveillance cameras. Salem police recently arrested a man living in Cascades Gateway Park on arson charges. Burned a nearby storehouseCaused over $ 1 million in damages. Police also arrested people living in Wallace Marine Park for theft of tens of thousands of dollars at Rudy’s Steakhouse.

“It’s common for me to show up and break windows.’Oh, someone broke into the butcher’.” A $ 20,000 thing is missing. “Someone broke into the walk-in freezer.” “Oh, someone broke into an employee’s car,” Robbie Kunke, owner of Rudy’s Steakhouse, told KOIN 6 News.

Kunke has donated $ 10,000 to the Union Gospel mission to help people experiencing the homeless, but he and his employees say food donations can’t solve the deep-seated problem. He and his staff said it would be meaningless without fines and would like to be accountable in prison as well as mental health and rehabilitation resources.

“At the same time, we understand that resources don’t occur overnight, so we have to be accountable for people and their actions during that time,” says Taylor Kennel, restaurant office manager at Rudy’s Steakhouse. Mr. says.

Marion County Sheriff Jeff Wood and Salem Police Lieutenant Treben Upx told KOIN 6 News that crime was on the rise near the camp. They said their agency still arrested people for crime. And said he was setting a court date. However, in reality, prisons cannot detain nonviolent criminals with limited COVID-19 compliance protocols and impose accountability on those living in the primitive perimeters of society. They say it’s difficult.

“For years, there has been intermittent funding for systems that wrap and protect where people are currently on the street,” says Upkes.

“Unfortunately, law enforcement isn’t the only problem to solve,” Wood said, adding that he needed multifaceted services for mental health, housing and addiction.

Within a few days, the city will begin to disperse camps, but in the short term, service providers will try to connect the people who live in the park to resources, with dozens of people going to the currently open shelter beds. However, many are expected to move the camp to another location in Salem.

“It’s hard for the whole community to digest it, but in the long run, the table has a strategy,” Hamilton said.

Some solutions will be able to accommodate 150 men when the Union Gospel Mission Shelter opens in mid-June. In July, the city-managed outdoor camp will support 60 people, and in August, the motel program will accommodate 100 people.

However, Salem officials estimate that about 1,800 people in the city are homeless.

Mayor Bennett told Governor Kate Brown that land and property such as trade fairs, Mill Creek, and Hillcrest correctional facilities were available as options for accommodating people in shortage of shelters and treating addicts. Seeking help.

He also wants the state to streamline the licensing of mental health facilities. Currently, it takes six years to open a mental health facility.

Time is often the enemy to bring safety and security to people like Rosa Morton. She has been on the low-income housing waiting list for the past two years.

“A song that never ends. They are turning low-income earners into criminals and not helping them,” she said. “It’s because of the city administration. It’s a kind of class struggle, and that’s it. Must not be. “

As Salem works on short-term fix on homelessness, more questions on long-term efforts Source link As Salem works on short-term fix on homelessness, more questions on long-term efforts

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