06-21-2018  5:18 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

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MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Ex-basketball coach sentenced to 60 days for sex abuse

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Legal pot will roll out differently in Canada than in US

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APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

Trudeau: Canada to legalize marijuana on Oct. 17

TORONTO (AP) — Marijuana will be legal nationwide in Canada starting Oct. 17 in a move that should take market share away from organized crime and protect the country's youth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday.The Senate gave final passage to the bill to legalize cannabis on...


How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...


Young immigrants detained in Virginia center allege abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immigrant children as young as 14 housed at a juvenile detention center in Virginia say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.The abuse claims against the Shenandoah Valley...

AP Explains: US has split up families throughout its history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Some critics of the forced separation of Latino children from their migrant parents say the practice is unprecedented. But it's not the first time the U.S. government has split up families, detained children or allowed others to do so .Throughout American history,...

The Latest: Messi gets a chance to save face against Croatia

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the World Cup (all times local):12:16 a.m.Lionel Messi is going to have a hard time keeping up with Cristiano Ronaldo at this year's World Cup.Ronaldo has all of Portugal's goals, a tournament-leading four so far, and has been getting in digs at Messi...


Dig it: Archaeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

BETHEL, N.Y. (AP) — Archaeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes.Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi...

Behind the making of Jack-Jack, the summer's breakout star

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Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson are engaged

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged.The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumored engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show."Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop...


New Zealand leader welcomes newborn girl 'to our village'

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a daughter Thursday...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio...

Israeli PM's wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli prosecutors have charged Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister's wife, with a series...

Military vows to recover bodies from sunken Indonesia ferry

TIGARAS, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military chief said Thursday that specialist navy equipment will be...

Voting machines raise worries in Congo ahead of elections

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Congo's government is moving forward with plans to use electronic voting machines in...

Japan to scrap evacuation drills for NKorean missile threat

TOKYO (AP) — Japan plans to suspend the civilian evacuation drills it started last year while North Korea...

Homeless on the street
By Arashi Young | The Skanner News

In an abandoned building, at a bus stop, on the sidewalk, under a freeway overpass.

These were the answers given when Seattle volunteers asked homeless people, “Where did you sleep last night?”

Earlier this year, coalitions in Seattle and Portland conducted a one-night count of the homeless population in King and Multnomah Counties respectively. Both counts occurred at the end of January 2015, providing a snapshot of the individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the middle of winter.

In Seattle there were 10,047 people counted as homeless on the night of Jan. 23, 2015. The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness found 3,772 people sleeping on the street, 3,282 people in shelters and 2,993 people in transitional housing.

Multnomah County counted 3,801 people who were homeless; 1,042 people who were sleeping in transitional housing, 872 people who were in an emergency shelter and 1,887 people who were unsheltered on the streets.

Some of the difference can be attributed to the size of the counties. The population of King County is 2.044 million people according to the United States Census Bureau 2013 estimate. In contrast, the census calculation for Multnomah County is 766,135 people.

In King County, there was a 21 percent increase in the number of people who were without any shelter, compared to the 2014 count of 3,123 people sleeping on the street.

In Multnomah County, the number of unsheltered people held steady from the previous count in 2013, the number of people in shelters and transitional housing decreased.

According to the Multnomah County Point in Time report, the decrease can be attributed to an increase in homeless services and a change in the definition of homelessness. The Department of Housing and Urban Development used to include people in “rapid rehousing,” people who used subsidies and rent assistance, in homeless counts, but doesn’t anymore. Including people in rapid rehousing would increase the number of homeless by 800 people.

Rapid rehousing beneficiaries are primarily people of color, women, families with children and domestic violence survivors.

Though the Multnomah County numbers have decreased slightly, the gains have not benefited people equally.

homeless graph

Communities of color are overrepresented in homeless counts compared to their percentage of the general population.  African Americans have the highest relative rates of homelessness of any race with 24 percent of the homeless population but make up only seven percent of the county.

 “Homelessness is fundamentally about an inability to afford housing,” the report states. “Among point-in-time count respondents who answered a question about the causes of their homelessness, the most frequent responses were ‘unemployment’ and ‘couldn’t afford rent.’”

The recent "State of Housing in Portland" report from the Portland Housing Bureau concluded that African Americans have been priced out of nearly every neighborhood in Portland. With the median income of $27,923, the average Black resident would need to find rent lower than $698 per month to be considered affordable.

With those constraints, one could possibly afford a studio apartment in Parkrose, Centennial, Gateway or past 122nd and Division. Those neighborhoods have few to no vacancies, according to the State of Housing report.

rental affordability

What is harder to count than the unsheltered homeless are those who are couch surfing, or people who have unstable living arrangements. The Multnomah County Point in Time count tried to estimate those who were “doubled up” – that is, living with friends and family for economic reasons.

From Oregon Department of Human Services food stamp data and school district homeless student counts, the study estimated 12,543 who were doubled-up on the night of the count.

The study also found that communities of color were more likely to be those who were doubled up. In some instances, cultural barriers kept people from getting help from mainstream services. In other cases, these communities were reluctant to turn to mainstream and government agencies for assistance due to legacies of distrust.

The report stated that these communities were more likely to help each other before getting outside help, even if it means burdening a household that is already strained from poverty.

“As a result of these patterns, many people of color tend to rely on churches, family, friends, and the broader community for help rather than accessing mainstream service systems. Because of cultural norms that emphasize the importance of helping community members in need, communities of color are disproportionately likely to double, triple, or quadruple up before allowing community members to end up on the streets or in shelters.”

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