By News-Register staff • 

Work session slated on homeless issue

The council is slated to open the discussion at an informal dinner meeting set for 6 p.m. Tuesday in McMinnville Civic Hall. It has invited local homeless advocate Howie Harkema and representatives of the Housing Authority of Yamhill County, McMinnville Habitat for Humanity the Gospel Rescue Mission to participate.

The council has solicited input on several different avenues, ranging from a potentially costly housing-first approach to less ambitious responses like revising planning codes and reducing system development charges in order to encourage development of more affordable housing.

The council adopted addressing homelessness as one of its goals during its annual goal-setting retreat, held in February. One of the prods was conflict with McMinnville Cooperative Ministries over its hosting of a downtown homeless camp that drew fire from neighbors.

When it moves into regular session at 7 p.m., the council is slated to:

n Adopt a supplemental budget for the 2015-16, allowing additional expenditures.

n Award a contract for design, engineering and construction of a new neighborhood park featuring the city's first fully barrier-free and handicapped-accessible playground. 

Both sessions are open to the public. 

Comments

RainD

Here's the sad truth..0 percent of our homeless constitute illegal aliens since our country subsidizes them 100% and they (the illegals) have depleted the resources originally put into place by the government to assist American citizens displaced many times for reasons out of their control. I don't agree with Donald Trump's plan to deport them, I just want to see someone cut them off from government handouts that were created to help American Citizens when dealing with hard times. All of these programs are now going to illegals..our homeless have no resources whatsoever..

David Bates

Zero percent? 100 percent? Wow, it's rare that a social/public policy issue is so ... absolute, in terms of describing it statistically. I look forward to seeing your information sources - and what it reveals about the accuracy rate of the sentences in your comment.

Mike

David. There will be no information sources for 'all these programs' now going to illegals. It would seem RainD has a belief system untroubled with the real world. We're here in wine country and it would be my guess that the grape harvest just concluding was helped considerably by the hard work and dedication of folks who might be here without proper paperwork and visas. It is my anecdotal experience that most the folks here without government permission work hard, carry their own weight, and have a little left over to send back to the old country to help their families. Just as my grandparents did.

Trafik

The dozens of Hispanic families I know personally -- some of them legal, some not, most Mexican nationals -- are humble, hard-working people who contribute tremendously to our local economy. Most of them are here for the same reason everyone else is: to make better (or even just adequate) lives for their families. While a number of them qualify for free meals through the public school system, a benefit all local students now enjoy, they're not coming here in hordes to seek "...government handouts that were created to help American Citizens [sic] when dealing with hard times."

While resources for local homeless folks are scarce and sometimes piecemeal, to blame the plight of the homeless on immigrants is inaccurate and, frankly, mean-spirited.

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