The first of two pieces of legislation that could ultimately bring Roseburg $1.5 million for a low barrier homeless shelter was approved by the state House Committee on Housing on Tuesday.

State Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, worked with Speaker of the House Tina Kotek to secure Roseburg’s proposed shelter a place in the proposed legislation.

"The homeless situation is a growing crisis for our communities that has been really complicated by the recent court rulings. I don't believe anyone wants to see the exponential growth of tent cities that are occurring in the large California cities," Leif said in an email Wednesday.

"This is no longer an issue that can be managed by each community, we need clear state guidelines and support that are aligned with the emerging court rulings," Leif said.

Roseburg City Manager Nikki Messenger also wrote to Kotek on March 1 and requested Roseburg be put on the list to receive funding for a shelter, referred to as a “navigation center” in the legislation.

Messenger wrote that a shelter could be up and running by July 2022 if the legislation is approved.

Two separate bills address the development of navigation centers around the state.

HB 2006 passed through the House Committee on Housing on a unanimous bipartisan vote Tuesday. It lays out the policies around the navigation centers.

Its companion bill, HB 2004, addresses the funding piece of the project, and specific language including the money for Roseburg’s shelter was added as an amendment to that bill. HB 2004 is scheduled for a work session in the House Committee on Housing on Thursday.

Unlike HB 2006, HB 2004 must gain approval of both the House Committee on Housing and the Ways and Means Committee in order to progress to the full House and the Senate for their approval.

Roseburg Homeless Commission Vice Chairperson Mike Fieldman, the former director of the United Community Action Network, also worked with Leif and Kotek to push for the bills.

Fieldman said an earlier version of the bills was introduced in last year’s session but didn’t have a specific allocation for Roseburg. He said the city’s letter was instrumental in convincing Kotek that it would be ready to step in as fiscal agent and work to create a shelter with the funds.

“That really positioned us really well for this session once this bill came up again,” he said.

Fieldman said there’s still a long way to go, and the funding piece could face a bigger challenge. But given the speaker’s commitment to the issue, he said he’s feeling optimistic.

“I’m really very excited about this possibility for us, for our community. The timing was just perfect with all the work the city has done to really lay the foundation for being able to position ourselves for this funding,” he said.

Leif said HB 2006's passage is a "great example of working across the aisle to achieve a solid piece of legislation which is desperately needed."

He said the navigation center has been in the work for years.

"With the homeless community growing in our area this will give us a means to offer the center as an option and at the same time provide needed social services support," Leif said.

He said addiction services, veteran services, social services, medical services and more will be available  through the center, which will also provide a place where people can shower, pick up mail, get assistance and begin the process of economic recovery.

Roseburg city officials recently visited Rogue Retreat in Medford, which operates several types of shelter facilities, including the Hope Village tiny home village, the Kelly Shelter and the Urban Campground.

“At this time, the Homeless Commission has recruited the staff at Rogue Retreat to perform an assessment and help guide the City on the next steps to institute a successful program of not just providing a handout, but providing a hand up to our unhoused neighbors,” Messenger said in her letter.

Roseburg Mayor Larry Rich said Tuesday the bills are a major step toward the city achieving its goal of developing a shelter here.

“It’s huge for us because it’s a start in terms of having the funding available,” Rich said. “You can have all the great plans but if you don’t have the funding in place you’re not really going anywhere. So this is big.”

Reporter Scott Carroll contributed to this story.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(18) comments

Exbass

Do not give the shelter to john roy he's is one of the worst individuals I have ever met he lets the sex offenders do whatever they want but if it anything else its an iron fist one day a person took his hat off his head as a joke and called 911 to try and get the person charged with robbery that and he's says that you have to have thirty day From The mission if you get any police contact no matter what I was suicidal and was need better meds than I was on so he called the cops kicked me out for a month and when I came back he said let me see your pills and he poured them all out and started counting them and said these pills are different I said there the same pill just from a different manufacture he I don't care you have to take your pills as persicrbed or you can stay here and there two different pills so I have to give you your pills I'll keep them in the office HE NOT A LICENSED nurse practitioner how is he able to do that I don't know.

NJ

I don't know how he thinks he can do that either Exbass. First I think I'd tell my Doctor and perhaps the Pharmacist at the drugstore where you got them about this person who thinks they can control your medication for you. No one should be touching your medication but you. Then I'd let the police know about what this person at the mission is doing. It's called filing a report and not necessarily wanting anyone arrested, just a report on file that the mission has decided to do this to those who want to visit it. It doesn't appear to be legal to me, and worse it's being used as blackmail for the ability to step into the mission. Health Care officials and the police need to know about it and your doctor should be helping you file that report with the police.

BetsyC

We could permanently house 50 people permanently with 1.5 million. That is a better use of taxpayer dollars than a shelter. This would put a significant impact on addressing homelessness in Roseburg, which is what Housing First is about.

Shelters are part of the Housing Ready model of addressing homelessness that has been a failure. This is why a few of us in the community started Housing First Umpqua. Housing First is a model that has shown to be more successful at addressing homelessness than Housing Ready. Housing First Umpqua has a graphic on our website that illustrates the difference.

We need leaders on this issue not managers. To date we have focused on managing the problem in the current dysfunctional system. So what we may really be lacking is leadership to make the changes that will actually make real change.

Shelters are part of the current dysfunctional system, even if we in Roseburg don't have any except the Rescue Missions. Even if they were not high barrier shelters, they would not be successful in ending homelessness. The information is out there. This is not to say that some people don't get out of chronic homelessness from a shelter, however it is a costly proposition that has done little to solve homelessness since we started to make mass shelters in the US after the first wave of growing homelessness in the 1980s.

Please think before you support. Let reliable information be the basis for your thinking.

The thing that will end homelessness is the same thing that would have prevented it: Affordable Housing.

NJ

Betsy, I'd have to ask if Housing First Umpqua was part of any conversation with Mr. Lief, or if they were ever intended to be part of the conversation with the Housing Commission that have now recruited “...the staff at Rogue Retreat [In Jackson County] to perform an assessment...” It would seem if your resource was right here, they would be preferred for information and insight into our needs. It would also seem as though recruiting an out of county entity as a resource would be a waste of funding when the resource is right here in front of them. Am I missing something?

BetsyC

People need to be properly sheltered, we don't need a shelter.

NJ

If everyone remembers correctly, the criminal administration set up the Payroll Protection Program to NOT have any oversight. It was just another play to allow the rich to benefit rather than small mom and pop shops. Capitalism at its worst: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-stimulus/trump-administration-is-blocking-covid-stimulus-oversight-government-watchdog-letter-idUSKBN23M2XD -- https://www.reed.senate.gov/news/releases/reed-trump-admins-inability-to-account-for-over-500b-is-negligent-makes-ppp-less-effective-and-hinders-economic-recovery -- and, https://www.govexec.com/oversight/2020/07/trump-friends-and-family-cleared-millions-small-business-bailout/166681/

P&Z

This was a gobsmacking moment!

"Five businesses related to Senator Dallas Heard received $264,718 for

19 employees. County Commissioner Chris Boice’s business received $144,200 for 17 employees."

No! Stop right there! Enough of this grabfest from commissioners and our appointed/voted-in officials! You want to play the money grab game, relinquish your title all together first.

P&Z

A quick look-see and my eye view fell on these two: "7. Five businesses related to Senator Dallas Heard received $264,718 for 19 employees. 8. County Commissioner Chris Boice’s business received $144,200 for 17 employees."

That is ENOUGH of these local government members getting in on the grabfest! THIS should not be allowed!!! We aren't privy to cleaning up D.C. and the state government due to location but by gawd we need to put a stop to this on a local level.

mworden

I hope the city will seriously consider locating the shelter somewhere besides downtown. Homeless people congregate downtown because that's where services are located. And who can blame them? The Mission and its services, including food, are in the downtown area. Give the businesses a break and consider other locations.

Mike

1,206 Douglas County businesses with 16,294 employees received $158 million from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Below is a summary of how the money was distributed according to the U.S. Department of Treasury (below link)

-------------------# of Cos----Employees------Total-----------$/Emp

$5M - $10M----------1-----------500-------$10,000,000-----20,000

$2M - $5M----------10---------1,911 $25,992,603------13,602

$1M - $2M----------16---------1,722 $22,702,622------13,184

$350K - $1M--------59---------3,390 $35,264,847------10,403

$150K - $350K------95---------2,818-----$26,128,617--------9,272

0$ - $150K---------1,025-------5,953 $37,908,484--------6,368

==================================================

-----------------------1,206------16,294-----$157,997,173------9,697

I made the following observations while reviewing the data.

1. Despite claims PPP was created to help small businesses, it appears large businesses with the most employees tended to receive the most money and the most money per employee.

2. Many businesses received more than $40,000 per employee and many received less than $500 per employee.

3. In excess of 27 Douglas County real estate agents received an average of $10,255 per agent.

4. A total of 116 Douglas County businesses listed as sole proprietor, self-employed or independent contractor with 1 employee received an average of $10,262.

5. 97 Douglas County businesses applied for PPP money more than once.

6. Multiple different businesses that received PPP money claimed the same business address. The most was five businesses in Myrtle creek all using the same business address received a total of $1.55 million.

7. Five businesses related to Senator Dallas Heard received $264,718 for 19 employees.

8. County Commissioner Chris Boice’s business received $144,200 for 17 employees.

https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses/sba-paycheck-protection-program-loan-level-data.

mworden

[thumbup] Thank you for this info, Mike. It's the kind of transparency we need. The facts speak for themselves.

Keepin it Real

Mike, I followed the link. I’m interested in knowing how you know what businesses are whose, as there isn’t enough information to identify a business, just a generic code.

Also, this house bill has absolutely nothing with the PPP money, so again, just another rant of nonsense

Mike

1. Please point to where I said this information had ANYTHING to do with the house bill passed today. You can't because I never said that. Need I say the money from the house bill passed today hasn't even been distributed yet. I guess I do need to say that.

2. You are looking in the wrong file if you can't find the identity of the businesses. Try this link to access the same information and even more.

https://projects.propublica.org/coronavirus/bailouts/

Keepin it Real

Well Mike, I owe you an apology! Also thank you for the link. It’s sickening to see the amounts of money given to places that are claiming to be hurting.

Mike

Apology accepted.

NJ

Haven't read the bill but I certainly hope the language that comes out of committee is very clear about how it's used and accounted for with the caveat that our County Commissioners can't, at any time, get their hands on it. Early stages folks. Keep an eye on this one.

CitizenJoe

NJ: agree.

P&Z

Absolutely!

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