The goal of this plan is to address the serious, largely invisible, debilitating conditions of homelessness as it relates to the citizens of Hood River, Wasco and Sherman counties and to propose ideas and a plan for mitigating it.
Individuals and organizations in Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman counties collaboratively drafted the Mid-Columbia 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, under the guidance of Oregon’s Housing and Community Services, with input from local and regional citizens and nonprofit groups dedicated to serving vulnerable, low-income people.
Most homelessness in the Mid-Columbia region is hidden and can be easy to overlook. Some of our community’s homeless live in cars, travel trailers or tents. Others are victims of violence and are temporarily lodged in domestic violence shelters. Some must leave the community, pulling their children out of school and finding temporary refuge in shelters across the river in Washington state or in Portland. Others are “doubled up” with family or friends and cannot stay long. Some are young adults who have aged out of the foster care system. Some are veterans, who gave of themselves for their country, returning home to find jobs and affordable housing scarce. Some recently-homeless citizens struggled for years to maintain their homes but ultimately lost them because of aging, long-term unemployment or debilitating health conditions. These people are members of our community. They are friends, family members, neighbors, employees, and co-workers. They are homeless, and as a community, we must collaborate to address their needs.