Shelter Crisis: For a Want of Dignity
by Chris Johnson
o the basic news coming out of our last meeting is we are planning a 'consulta' to meet with people on the street and people at risk of being homeless who might be the potential users/operators of a temporary shelter encampment. This will happen at one or two locations accessible to the street community, as well as involve some one on one contact and possibly include some video and written testimony from various people.
The goal with this consulta
is to determine how many people would be interested in being involved in a project where we work together to create some temporary emergency housing as an alternative to the conventional shelter system, as well as getting the input of the people in need of this housing as to what it should look like. So it's yet another study of sorts, but at the same time, we're not just asking people what they want and need. We'll be working together to create something right away. Sort of proactive research.
A proper process for involving people in the design and operation of emergency shelter (or most poverty related things for that matter) is something that everyone agrees is lacking. I've been thinking that if we can broaden it in some way to also have it function as a general survey regarding the needs and ideas of people experiencing poverty, it would have value far beyond our project. That's something we can talk about at our next meeting, which is a meeting of the working group putting the consulta together, this coming Monday, 4pm at Camas. The next general meeting is the following Monday.