Groups join forces to help homeless

The Lincoln City Resource Center (LCRC) and Emergency Warming Shelter (EWS) joined Communities Helping Addicts Negotiate Change Effectively (CHANCE) as they moved from the Taft area of Lincoln City to their new location at 4488 NE Devils Lake Blvd.

“We want to increase support for addiction and behavioral health, housing,” said CHANCE Executive Director Jeff Blackford. “We want to provide the necessary supports so people can become self-sustainable.”

The goal for the new location is to become a hub for many resources. There are a lot of people who don’t have a home, but have a job, Blackford explained. They just can’t afford housing.

Blackford said they have programs available to help people with rental assistance. “We try to take barriers out of the way. We don’t do it all for them.”

Sharon Padilla is the site manager in charge of LCRC, which started operating at the new location Sept. 2.

Padilla said the resource center serves between 30 and 35 breakfasts and lunches daily. Restroom facilities and showers are available, as is clothing and a place to hang out. There are also resources for children.

“We need socks,” said Padilla regarding current needs at the resource center, “sleeping bags and tents.”

The warming shelter is not currently operational as they are awaiting Lincoln City Council conditional approval in November. Padilla doesn’t expect that to be a problem, but says it won’t happen until the regular city council meeting on Nov. 25.

The center opens when weather conditions for Lincoln City are reported to be 40 degrees or below. Padilla said it is “really likely” that it will be that cold in November before the conditional use permit is approved.

About the homeless crisis in Lincoln County, Padilla said, “People think they can turn their back on it and make it go away.” The community needs to come together, she said, to address the issue.

“We’re creating partnerships with as many agencies as we can,” Padilla said.

Blackford said, “With stable housing and stable employment, people become self-reliant.”

“They’re everywhere,” Padilla said of the homeless. “If we all work together, we can change lives.”

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