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Newport Contributes To Community Shelter for Unhoused

Housing Authority of Lincoln County Director Karen Rockwell along with Shelter director Chantelle Estes and Jayne Romero Lincoln County HHS Director gave a report to the Newport City Council on the Community Shelter and Resource Center, which opened in October of last year. Rockwell reported that the shelter provided clients with more than a warm place to sleep but also provided showers, meals and hygiene resources. Estes reported that since opening in October they have seen 240 unique individuals.

They were open 180 nights with an average of 26 per night with an average length of stay was 16 nights. She added the majority of the age of individuals served was between 50-83. Most of the seniors had serious medical conditions. 66% of those served live in Lincoln County with 17% being veterans. During the time the resource center and shelter was open they had no law enforcement or fire department calls. Another positive said Estes was the ability to offer officer escorts. “In the middle of the night an officer can call me and say hey I have this individual who can use some help and they could drop them off at the shelter and get them off the street and keep them safe.” “We also were able to offer emergency room transports so someone being released from the hospital didn’t have to go back on the streets.”

During the down time they will be working on a remodel that will enable them to serve more people and get them the assistance that they need. Jayne Romero sang Estes praises and those of the volunteers and other staff who stepped up to help. She said along with the county housing authority they have purchased a building in Lincoln City as well. “We are pretty proud of what we have accomplished,” said Romero. She then asked the council for continued funding support. Adding that it costs over $800,000 to operate two shelters. She said the county is prepared to bring over $446,000 to the table. She said they are asking the city of Newport and the city of Lincoln City to contribute $100,000 each to the costs. She pointed out that the emergency shelter is the first step in helping those who are unhoused to work toward more permanent housing.

Mayor Kaplan thanked the county for their hard work and said they have done an amazing job. According to Karen Rockwell, Lincoln County was the third lowest funded county to help with unhoused programs from the state. It was recommended by city manager Spencer Neble to provide $250,000 of ARPA funds to help with the renovations of the shelter building. This was approved by the council. The council also approved recommending to the budget officer for $100,000 to help with the costs of continued funding for the shelter during the budget process.

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