CARE is excited to announce their plan to bring new no- and low-barrier shelter to Tillamook County. This plan will double the number of available low-barrier shelters operated by CARE from six to twelve. It will include resources like bathrooms, showers and 24/7 peer supervision and support.
“In Tillamook County we are experiencing shortages throughout the housing continuum, from shelter all the way through market rate homeownership,” observes Dusti Linnell, Chair of the CARE Board of Directors. “CARE is uniquely positioned to contribute to closing gaps in the housing continuum, and this project will allow us to make an immediate impact by providing no-barrier and low-barrier shelter quickly.”
The no-barrier shelter will be modeled after the Warming Center CARE currently operates every winter, except that it will be open every day, year-round. It will operate as a night-to-night shelter to anyone who needs it. The low-barrier shelter will be like the Micro-shelters run successfully by CARE since 2019. Low-barrier shelter is a temporary living accommodation, with some preconditions for entry, that provides safety and security while progressing toward housing readiness or awaiting permanent housing. CARE has secured funding for this project, including the funds to provide around the clock onsite peer support for shelter guests.
CARE has the ambitious goal of opening Phase 1 in 2023. Phase 1 will include one congregate, night-to-night shelter, four double occupancy units, and two family units. CARE also plans to build a double bathroom facility and an ADA bathroom facility. As part of this program, CARE will provide services supporting shelter guests including around the clock peer support, a supported employment program, and case management services.
“CARE has a long history of providing meaningful services to our community that empower people throughout the housing continuum,” reflects Michele Wayne, CARE’s Homeless Program Manager. “It is not our goal to simply shelter people. In fact, our primary goal is prevention - to help people avoid experiencing homelessness. But when someone comes to our shelter, we aim to provide them with all the support they need to progress into permanent housing. All of CARE’s housing, homelessness, and early childhood services are geared toward this goal: to see everyone in our community in a safe and secure home to meet their basic needs, to flourish and grow, and ultimately to thrive!”
CARE will be presenting a proposal to lease land owned by Tillamook County when the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meets on May 31, 2023. The land CARE proposes to lease sits next to the Hoquarton House and is immediately adjacent to CARE’s offices. This location makes the most sense because Tillamook residents are already living there, it is safe for people experiencing homelessness, and it is close to support services, including 24/7 peer support provided by CARE. CARE thoroughly evaluated this property, completed an environmental assessment of the property, and has concluded that this property is suitable for this purpose.
Should the BOCC approve the land lease, CARE will get to work immediately to meet our 2023 goal. If this lease is approved, CARE will continue to communicate and work with the community to ensure it meets the needs of all Tillamook residents – including the most vulnerable in our community.
“Shelter is one of the best ways that we can increase safety and security in our community,” states Nicole Vertner, Program Director of OUR Tillamook. “Someone who is unhoused is far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime, engage in substance use, and take part in risky behaviors just to have a safe place to sleep. A housing first strategy for people who are unhoused in our community will actually reduce crime and make our community safer for everyone.”
CARE is a 501c3, nonprofit organization and has been serving Tillamook County since 1991. The mission of CARE is to foster changes that create healthier, more resilient communities throughout Tillamook County, and empower people as they work to meet their immediate, basic needs. To learn more about CARE visit their website at www.CAREinc.org and like them on Facebook @TillamookCARE.