Sweet Home council wrestles with homeless shelter issue | Local


“But the big problem is where?” Larsen said. “The long-term solution is to find a location where they can access services and find shelter. We don’t know what that looks like.”

Larsen said he is concerned about splitting up locations — say, among several churches volunteering to help one or two homeless persons each — because that would create a difficult communications issue.

It’s also important to have a common site so outreach services can help several people at the same location, not scattered about the community, Larsen said.

City Manager Ray Towry said Sean Morgan, the community outreach officer with the Sweet Home Police Department, has done an excellent job working with the community’s homeless population.

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Morgan has focused on connecting the homeless with social services including mental health, alcohol and drug counseling and housing.

“We have 10 people engaged in some regular way with services with varying degrees of dedication,” Morgan said. “They are working with our new Community Court. A Linn County health worker recently filled out eight applications for housing.”

Morgan said he is working with one man who had 13 outstanding police warrants on two charges.

“He’s been able to go to court and has gotten connected with some services,” Morgan said. “It’s a mindset he didn’t have before. We have a veteran we hope will be in a house soon. They are trying, and we are seeing some success. It’s cool to watch.”


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