On Sept. 30, I was honored to work along some great people on the Housing the Homeless – Finding Common Ground Summit at the Roseburg Senior Center. It was a productive event with over 50 attendees looking for ways to work with the homeless as well as working to end homelessness. So many in our community understand this is a serious issue that needs more than platitudes and head shaking.
During the event I urged everyone to get involved as best they can and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what our speaker, Paul Boden, said and what our next step should be. One thing became obvious to me, this will take all of us as a community. Unfortunately, this highlights my frustration that even though they were each sent a personal invitation, only one of our local elected officials responded to this event. I personally mailed invitations to our city councilors, the city manager and our county commissioners. I want to sincerely thank Brian Prawitz for letting me know he wouldn’t be able to attend even though he was very interested.
I also mailed almost 30 invitations to churches in the Roseburg area. I’m not sure if any from their congregations were in the audience, but I do know that not one of them RSVP’d as requested.
Affordable housing, addiction, mental illness and many other issues lead to homelessness, but it will take a community to create a solution. Citizens, community leaders and our elected officials need to work together to create those solutions. Common Ground Coalition of Douglas County will be hosting more of these discussions in the future, and I sincerely hope next time our elected officials will be part of that discussion.
Chair of the Common Ground Coalition of Douglas County