Would the World be willing to do more reporting on the homeless crisis?
We have little exposure to the very difficult moving parts involved. This is just my opinion here and it’s newly developed from what I’d learned from North Bend’s and the League of Oregon Cities web sites, as well as the recent town hall. Perhaps the World could double check and expand on my assumptions because I may have some of this wrong. This is what I believe at this time:
1. Not having camping or parking ordinances means at any time, in any manner, anyone can sleep or rest on any sidewalk, meridian or park at any time; RV on any street. (That’s pretty much the sum of North Bend’s *public* property, Coos Bay has a bit more.)
2. The annex North Bend bought last year could be used for this crisis in North Bend with some moving parts, but that means *not* using it for what the city intended: attracting a developer to build apartments and retail space on that property. (I hope it’s the latter, don’t you? I’d rather see housing for people who actually work here than what’s happening now.)
3. Homelessness does not grant any of us the right to commit crimes. (If *anyone* is hurting me or my property, I call 911.)
4. When the city builds a property/service like a shelter on city property, the costs are astronomically higher than a private entity, like Devereux Center, because the city’s legal responsibilities encompass a far higher bar than a private entity.
5. When North Bend penciled out a 50-unit pallet shelter community, that responsibility came it at around $4 million. That just doesn’t compare to the Devereux’s $500K budget reported by an employee at the Town Hall.
6. This all begs the question: how can the community work together? Are we willing to pay more for public safety, now that we see this issue in sharp focus? Are any private property owners (churches, industrial properties, home owners) willing to volunteer space in a parking lot or yard? Can we build citizen-based neighborhood?
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