Homelessness not just an urban problem in Oregon
I walk the Greenway occasionally and have seen firsthand some of the messes left by the homeless. I thought it was pretty bad here, but I was in Portland recently and the situation is much worse up there. How widespread of a problem is homelessness in Oregon?
— Mark D., Medford
It’s pretty widespread throughout Oregon, Mark.
Portland has tent cities under bridges and along freeways, and many communities in the state, including Medford, have programs to get homeless people off the streets, though no single community has found a way to completely deal with the problem.
There are many areas of the state that might not typically be associated with homelessness. Gold Beachon the Oregon Coast might seem like it would be immune to transient issues. But the Curry County Sheriff’s Office cleaned up garbage from a transient camp near the ocean on Valentine’s Day.
The Curry County Road Department hauled away seven dump trucks full of garbage, at a cost of $600 for each load.
Cleanup crews found hundreds of rats at the garbage site. Some trees and brush had to be cleared to get all the garbage out of there.
As of January 2019, Oregon had an estimated 15,876 people experiencing homelessness, with almost 10 percent being veterans and another 10 percent being young adults, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
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