Haircuts and help for the homeless
Free bus rides for students, anywhere in the county. Hair cuts. Dental services. Housing assistance. Even programs at the library.
All these and more services were to be found Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Project Homeless Connect at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center.
Hundreds of visitors, volunteers and nonprofits turned out to address the needs of Clatsop County’s homeless population.
Clatsop Community Action, with offices in Seaside and Astoria, offers information referral, a personal care pantry, case management and more.
Executive director Viviana Matthews said housing remains her agency’s biggest challenge. With low inventory and high prices, rental costs are rarely met by government or charitable contributions.
Housing specialist Angela Christensen of the Northwest Housing Authority works with clients to meet their housing needs. Christensen handed out applications for housing opportunities throughout the county. Waiting lists may range for some properties from one to two years or more, she said.
Seaside High School Vice-Principal Jason Boyd, with guidance counselors Trevor Cave and Shelby Treick, welcomed families and provided admissions and enrollment information.
“Being here today is hopefully helping us to make some connections to see what barriers we can help remove,” Boyd said.
The Seaside Library maintained a presence at the event.
“We want to make sure our homeless population knows what free services they can get,” executive director Esther Moberg said. “We remind them all of our programs are free. We have things like our paperback exchange, our magazines are all free.”
Homeless people come to the library for shelter, she said. “On a rainy, stormy day they’re going to come in and hang out sometimes as long as eight hours, because it’s a safe location, they can trust it, and of course we have Wi-Fi access and computers. Our main rules are no sleeping, so we have to wake people up sometimes. But for the most part, people see the library as a safe place.”
Source: SeaSide Signal