Grace Wins Haven
Lincoln County and Newport chipping in to expand homeless services.
It’s not the fastest growing service for the homeless and the down-and-out in Lincoln County. But forward momentum appears to be on the horizon.
In speaking before the Lincoln County Commission this week, homeless advocate Betty Kamikawa of Grace Wins Haven gave the commissioners a rather thorough update on the state of affairs of fighting homelessness in Lincoln County. Kamikawa told the commissioners that they’re heartened by the recent addition of grants from the city of Newport and Lincoln County to take Grace Wins Haven to a much higher level of service to the homeless. And there’s lots of homeless people in Lincoln County. Additionally, Lincoln County ranks #2 of all Oregon counties struggling with addictions, including the social and deadly side-effects of Opioids. Tillamook County is ranked #1.
Kamikawa told the commissioners that it’s time to take Grace Wins Haven and other groups to the next level in our community’s battle with drugs, lack of housing, low paying jobs (when they can get them) and worsening hopelessness.
Kamikawa said Grace Wins Haven has only enough donated resources to run a homeless drop-in center during the dry months of the year and a homeless shelter at the Fairgrounds in winter. These services help the homeless develop somewhat of a daily routine where they can get back on their feet and access portable showers and porta-potties. Expanded porta-potties are contemplated at the rear of City Hall and behind the County Courthouse. Grace Wins Haven also offers two free meals a day, and a safe place to store their belongings. The homeless can also use Grace Wins Haven as a place to get their mail, instructions on how to get a legal ID, Social Security card, access to medications, take showers and wash their clothes. Also, access to local job listings and disposal of hypodermic needles use for insulin shots for diabetes. Not for drug users, but for genuine health care purposes.
Despite everything they’re doing now, Kamikawa says it’s only the beginning of what they hope will soon be an expanded list of other services to the homeless, including car camps so the homeless can stay close to the only belongings they have left.
Kamikawa again thanked the County Commissioners for stepping-up to help support the services Grace Wins Haven provides. She also reminded the community that Grace Wins Haven relies heavily on useful community gifts and donations, including heart-felt volunteering by the citizens of Newport.
For those who would like more information on helping to support Grace Wins Haven’s deeply important services just call them at 541-265-1974. They’re located at 437 NE 1st Street, Newport. By the way, they’re celebrating the latest upgrade to their facility. Mayor Dean Sawyer will be holding the big scissors and with the assistance of good-hearted friends, they’ll all cut the ribbon together. Festivities run from 5pm to 7pm with good eats, good people and goodwill.