With around 1,000 folks losing their homes each year, the county is required by the state to develop a plan to address their needs. We have a very active volunteer task force that has crafted such a plan. Several dozen homeless live in encampments that move about the community. Their needs are particularly acute, usually with multiple disabilities, including mental illness and substance abuse. I am working with the Cities of Longview and Kelso to find alternative locations for these encampments, while more permanent solutions are considered.
Four organizations serve the vast majority of our homeless: the Community House on Broadway, an emergency shelter; the Emergency Support Shelter for victims of domestic violence, Cowlitz Family Health Center, and Lower Columbia CAP. These groups receive the vast majority of document recording fees the state charges to funds the task force’s plan. For example, one doc-fee grant paid for CHOB employees to receive training to qualify for mental health funding, resulting in the successful CORE Health division of CHOB opening. Smaller groups such as Salvation Army, Family Promise, and Faithful Servants also play critical roles in helping homeless overcome their challenges. All receive private contributions.
CAP’s prevention and diversion homeless programs include a highly successful group home diverting chronic homeless men with multiple disabilities off the streets, a landlord-tenant mediator, and providing non-cash housing assistance and private hygiene needs for homeless identified by the state.
WEBER'S EXPERIENCE GETS THINGS DONE