Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, February 06, 2015, Image 3

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    February 6, 2015 • Seaside Signal • seasidesignal.com • 3A
Clatsop County homeless connected at annual event
By Kyle Spurr
EO Media Group
More than 100 of Clat-
sop County’s homeless
and near homeless popu-
lation wove through rows
of service booths set up
in the Seaside Civic and
Convention Center Jan.29
for the sixth annual Project
Homeless Connect.
Volunteers for Home-
less Connect, sponsored
by the nonpro¿t Clatsop
Community Action, guid-
ed each person through
color-coordinated areas of
the convention center.
Red-colored
booths
were for health services;
yellow booths were for
family and education;
green was for housing,
employment, identi¿ca-
tion, legal and transporta-
tion assistance; blue was
for food and haircuts. A to-
tal of 52 agencies attended
the event.
Tony DeGoede, Clat-
sop Community Action
staff member, said the
event traditionally attracts
about 200 homeless peo-
ple each year. Having half
that number this year is
actually a positive sign for
the community, DeGoede
said.
“Our goal is to reduce
the numbers,” he said.
The
attendance
at
Homeless Connect is still
a fraction of the local
homeless population.
In 2014, Clatsop Coun-
ty recorded 638 homeless
families and 1,038 indi-
viduals. Records show 321
JOSHUA BESSEX PHOTO
People are led by yellow-shirt clad volunteers as they visit
booths in the housing and employment section of the Project
Homeless Connect event in Seaside Jan. 29. More than 100
people came to the event, down from 200 last year.
JOSHUA BESSEX PHOTO
Kallie Linder, from Salon Boheme, cuts Mark Jenkin’s hair during the Project Homeless Con-
nect event at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Services at the Jan. 29 event included
free health checks, haircuts, help with housing and obtaining identification, such as birth
certificates.
people were under the age
of 18.
CCA is conducting its
annual homeless count for
this year. The results are
expected to be released by
April.
Homelessness includes
people living with others
due to losing their own
housing and are “doubled
up,” which has become
more common among the
county’s youth.
Of all the services of-
fered, DeGoede said, the
most popular is, of course,
housing services.
However, most of the
housing services could
only offer waiting lists
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Seaside Oregon 97138. 503-738-5561. www.seasidesignal.com
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at the event and required
proper identi¿cation and
clean legal history.
“All the barriers to
housing, we try to help
with,” DeGoede said.
CCA’s Joanne Seavert
collected 60 names of
homeless people needing
help getting identi¿cation
or ¿lling out birth certi¿-
cate order forms. She was
able to help 49 people last
year.
Obtaining proper iden-
ti¿cation or acquiring a
birth certi¿cate is often
the most important step
in overcoming homeless-
ness, Seavert said. People
are unable to ¿nd worN
or housing without proper
identi¿cation.
CCA offers a mail ser-
vice at its of¿ce in Astoria,
where homeless people
can come in once a weeN
to picN up mail.
Area homeless shelters
also connect homeless
people with post of¿ce box
addresses, which is Ney for
obtaining an identi¿cation
from the state Department
of Motor Vehicles.
Michael Ruiz, the DMV
manager in Astoria, said
local agencies often write
letters to the DMV to cer-
tify a homeless person’s
given P.O. box, in order
for the person to get an ID
card.
“:e try to worN with
different agencies and the
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JOSHUA BESSEX PHOTO
Volunteers hand out donated supplies from Helping Hands
Reentry Outreach during the Project Homeless Connect
event at the Seaside Convention Center. Supplies included
military-grade boots and backpacks, shirts, blankets and
toiletries.
Served 4pm – 8pm
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JOSHUA BESSEX PHOTO
Jerry Martin takes an eye exam to check for signs of glau-
coma during the Project Homeless Connect event at the
Seaside Civic and Convention Center.
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W ith this sw eetheart of a deal,
now m ight be the tim e to m ove to
Suzanne Elise A ssisted Living
public to let them Nnow,
even if you are homeless,
there are ways to get an
ID,” Ruiz said. “The DMV
really Nnows not everyone
will have an ideal home,
so we maNe alternative
guidelines.”
Overall, seeing people
move from booth to booth
was liNe watching them
pass hurdle after hurdle,
organizers noted.
Clatsop County’s Proj-
ect Homeless Connect is
held each year in honor of
Jessica MacLay, the orig-
inator and organizer the
¿rst two years, who died
in 2011 from injuries suf-
fered in a fatal car acci-
dent. The event has since
been named in her mem-
ory.
The ¿rst year, the event
was held in a Warrenton
church, then moved to the
convention center.
Project Homeless Con-
nect, founded in San Fran-
cisco, began Dec. 8, 2005,
in 26 cities across the
country.
The event is a helpful
one-day, one-stop event,
DeGoede said, but he
hopes people do not forget
that many of the agencies
offer the same services
year-round.
“We do this, and then
the next day we are worN-
ing with housing and ad-
vocacy groups,” DeGoede
said. “We don’t stop.”
For Reservations Call: 503.738.6403
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