What does it mean to be homeless in Central Oregon?

Homelessness is a situation in which anyone may find him- or herself. It does not define someone nor speak to who they are. It is important to remember that many of those experiencing homelessness work very hard to make sure you have no clue they are without a fixed abode. The shabbily dressed man on the corner represents only a fraction of those who are homeless in our community.

Homelessness is a situation in which any of us might find ourselves.

Central Oregon has a history of boom/bust economic cycles and those individuals and families living on the lower rungs of the economic ladder are the first to feel the impacts.

As an essentially rural area, Central Oregon lacks a robust social safety net and as demand on services grows, resources (allocated through government and the private sector) decrease. A lack of affordable/ subsidized housing and a predominance of low wage jobs increase the pressures on individuals and families as they struggle to meet basic needs. Too often, the onset of a medical crisis or family emergency is all it takes to tip once-productive people into homelessness.

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