Wake up Roseburg! I was at Gaddis Park for a grandchild's ball game. There were abandoned cars, RVs that needed to be dumped,and a constant flow of young males to and from the South Umpqua's river edge. One RV occupant dumped his gray water in the parking lot and it smelled like urine. Two young men arrived with motorized bikes and made frequent stops up and down the river's edge . I do not think they were delivering Girl Scout cookies.

This is a beautiful river , a community ball park , and a surrounding neighborhood and businesses being consumed by the homeless plight.

Stop the overnight camping within city limits. Speak up! This is your home, your businesses and a beautiful part of the northwest.

Belinda Downie

Redmond

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(10) comments

guest207

I personally think Douglas county and roseburg pockets the money that is supposed to help the homeless. Ha s anyone ever done the math to see how much this county makes off in drug court. Now that certain hard drugs are no longer a felony, they cant incarnate a individual and force him or her into that exploited program. Why if they didn’t want the drugs here do they allow the convient stores dowtown to sell the paraphernalia? I think the homeless commission is a joke, I also think the community needs to stop blaming all the homeless for the actions of some.

Marine Vet

Homelessness brings Millions of dollars to Roseburg Evidenced by the Millions in Pandemic relief the Organizations here Applied for & were Granted. Caveat to that is Almost to a T Every one of those Organizations who took Money Promptly Closed the Doors & put even more people on the streets. Using the Pandemic as the Reason. This Counties Elected & their Families which have a Big Hand in some of these Organizations Only Care about 1 thing. Bottom Line It's CASH in thier Accounts & then They will decide when & IF they want to Help the Homeless here.

mworden

Marine Vet, I think the Rescue Mission closed for only a few days so they could make changes to reduce the risk of covid spread. The Dream Center didn't run a warming center for nights below freezing this year but they're still providing services for the homeless and low-income people.

It was unfortunate that the announcement of the grants came at the same time as the announcement that the shelters were closing for a few days to prepare for changed procedures due to the pandemic. It gave a bad impression. Pretty sure they did not take the money and run.

Wretched722

Since when should homeless shelters be allowed at City Parks? I, for one, do not want my tax money perpetuating this problem. We have a Mission and other places for these people to go - why are they not there?

mworden

With the pandemic, the CDC recommended allowing homeless encampments to remain in plain sight because it's easier to provide hygiene resources and to connect people with services if you know where they are. Encampments with well-spaced tents are actually less likely to spread covid infection than staying indoors in a shelter or warming center. That means outbreaks that could spread to the larger community are less likely to come from the homeless population if they are allowed to camp in place in public areas.

As a result, we now see how extensive the problem is. In pre-pandemic days, law enforcement officers and public works rousted homeless camps, driving people deeper into the brush. But they were always there.

NJ

Belinda, I'd have to ask that, considering you're from Redmond, what is your stake in Roseburg's homeless situation? Your letter appears to come more from an entitled perspective, however ending overnight camping won't make homelessness end here. One can't simply wish it away no matter how used you may be to typing a few words of expectation so make your world can be the magical place you feel it should be.

dljones54

I appreciate Belinda's letter, because she was pointing out the obvious and that does not make her entitled. Homelessness in Roseburg has been ignored for years. My sons played at Gaddis Park over 20 years ago and their coaches often had to remove dirty needles and human waste from the dugouts before the boys could enter. It was a problem then and has continued to grow. Overnight camping should not be allowed at Gaddis and our elected officials need to step up and find a solution and stop using this politicized pandemic as an excuse.

NJ

My opinion doesn't take issue with her observation of Gaddis Park, only her words that describe homeless people here in a city she doesn't reside in. Homelessness and drug addiction are timeless but to think that shutting the homeless away from an established area done so in an effort to address it made her perspective seem entitled in that she would prefer to not bear witness to the seamy underbelly of an issue plaguing Roseburg. No one person is better than another and I took her words as offensive in a "beautiful park - ugly people" way.

Roseburg Reader

NJ, Belinda used to be a resident of Roseburg, and still has family here, which gives her a stake in Roseburg's homeless situation. You accuse her of writing her letter from an "entitled perspective". It seems to me that the people who are entitling themselves are these homeless people who are camping there. The broken down RVs with garbage surrounding it, urine in the parking lot and the overall mess caused by these people is disturbing. Being homeless does NOT entitle anyone to take what once was a wonderful family gathering place where kids played ball and parents watched and cheered them on while enjoying the company of the other adults. My children also used to play ball there BEFORE the homeless starting camping there, although there were signs. A lot of times, parents banded together to clean human waste, needles and garbage from the dugouts before the games so the kids would have a clean place to put their equipment and sit between innings. WHY would someone feel "entitled" to cause all this chaos where children gather? WHY would someone feel "entitled" to have someone else clean up after them? Belinda's perspective is NOT an entitled one, but rather one of common decency. And Gaddis Park used to be a magical place - a place where kids played hard, parents volunteered and the community gathered as the village to make a better world for the kids. My children did enjoy that time and my grandchildren deserve to have their turn WITHOUT fear or having to tolerate the "entitled" people from literally trashing their world. And if you feel that my attitude is also wrong, are YOU willing to host these people in your back yard? Are YOU willing to clean up after them every day with a smile on your face? Are YOU ok with the homeless taking away the sanctity (magical place) you feel your home should be? Or is your criticism only valid if the problem isn't yours to face?

NJ

RR, it's nice she has a person of common perspective to defend her. Perhaps if either one of you were more invested in Roseburg's homeless issue you both could have taken an opportunity to investigate just how long Gaddis Park has been a homeless location. Last year it was decided to leave the homeless in place at Gaddis rather than run them out of your magical park to disperse in the community during a pandemic. In fact, "In one case, the U.S. Supreme Court in December 2019 let stand a lower court decision that said it was "cruel and unusual punishment" to enforce rules that stop homeless people from camping in public places when they have no place else to go."

Here's a question for both of you; have either one of you ever considered volunteering in any capacity to help the homeless? You only speak of having to clean up the disgust before children can compete in sports there. It leaves an impression of intolerance for a human condition that has existed in Gaddis for years. Here's links to articles you might read to help enlighten your perspective: https://www.nrtoday.com/news/health/coronavirus/homeless-raise-concerns-amid-covid-19-pandemic/article_5b6c7f31-eac5-5185-baa1-e5c3de476380.html -- https://www.nrtoday.com/news/government/warming-center-out-shelter-in-place-instead-for-the-areas-homeless/article_4f292e2e-98e4-563b-886b-6acacb778136.html -- https://www.nrtoday.com/news/government/city/roseburg_government/a-simple-goal-turns-into-a-lifes-mission/article_cfd87512-4ccb-5d4d-98a0-9ae060023e38.html

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