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Peninsula Poverty Response’s mission is to reduce the impacts of poverty

Peninsula Poverty Response is beginning the process of studying the fishability of building a shelter for unhoused individuals and families. In the last three years homelessness on the Long Beach Peninsula has increased 80%, from a total of 12 persons in 2017 to 60 in 2020. These numbers reflect HUD Point in Time Count data (Key Findings of 2020 Point-in-Time Count | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Unhoused individuals and families often sleep in their cars, RVs, doubled up with friends and family, and outside. When a person with no place to live is discharged from hospital or nursing care Peninsula Poverty Response can offer them a tent, sleeping bag, tarp, emergency blanket, handwarmers, and gift cards for food and fuel. What kind of society allows this to happen?

The Case for building a homeless shelter on the Long Beach Peninsula, Washington

In the last three years homelessness on the Long Beach Peninsula has increased 80%, from a total of 12 persons in 2017 (PIT Results 2017.pdf | Powered by Box)  to 60 in 2020. These numbers reflect HUD Point in Time Count data (Key Findings of 2020 Point-in-Time Count | United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). Unhoused individuals and families often sleep in their cars, RVs, doubled up with friends and family, and outside. When a person who is unhoused is discharged from hospital or nursing care they are sent back to the streets. There is no safe, clean place for them to rest and recover. If they are lucky, they may be given a few nights in a motel after which they return to their camps, cars, RVs, or a friend or family’s sofa.

On the hottest day of this year, PPR was contacted by the Crisis Team who asked for homeless kit for a youth who was being discharge from hospital to street. PPR provided a homeless kit, backpack with camping essentials, water, and gift cards for food and fuel. The afternoon temperature was over 100 degrees. A physically or mentally fragile youth has no business camping in extreme heat, this put the youth at risk for heat illnesses.

On the same day, PPR was called to assist two homeless veterans. One gentleman, a Vietnam Era veteran, was living in an abandoned RV in the forest. All he asked for a few dollars for propane. After talking with him, PPR discovered he was low on food and water, but he was determined to get by with what he had. PPR gave him gift cards for food and fuel, enough resources so he could purchase extra water, some food, ice, and propane. The other gentleman was a veteran of the first Gulf War and disabled. As a recent amputee, he was concerned about keeping his leg stump clean since it was weeping. He asked for Discover Pass so he could shower at the state park. PPR gave him a Discover Pass and gift cards for food and fuel. Neither of these gentlemen should have been living outdoors. In a better time, they would be living in apartments or staying in a shelter until housing became available. The best we could do were small kindnesses that eased their chronic problems.

What kind of society allows this to happen?

Peninsula Poverty Response believes our community is not the kind of society that turns it back on mothers and fathers, children, veterans, or anyone in grave need of shelter. A homeless shelter is desperately need on the peninsula, a place where unhoused families and individuals will be sheltered and safe at night, receive behavioral health treatment, and other needed services.  

Peninsula Poverty Response (PPR) is asking the Community Foundation for $10,000 to be used to identify and do due diligence on property for a homeless shelter. This is the first phase of a three-phase plan, during this time we will continue building strong relationships with Pacific County Health Department and a behavioral health provider, as we are building these relationships, we will also build community support through listening sessions and education. The second phase will be funding the shelter through grassroots fundraising and local, state, federal and private agency grants. Phase three is building the shelter.