By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Commissioners criticize city for lack of action on homeless

Only online subscribers may access this article.

One-day subscriptions available for just $2. Click here for one-day access.

For all other subscription offers, click here.

Already a subscriber, please .

Comments

Stella

Mary Starrett only gets upset when it effects her building - really? You are the problem! Services to attract campers here, home give aways and needle exchange... open the doors to Ycap and let them move on in.

gregtompkins

I hear people bleating about “affordable housing” often. So why don’t these misguided liberals wanting that actually get busy to address the problem - get out there and starting building, change our land use laws to allow it (get rid of SB100,) and do something about sanctuary law which is contributing to this. We can’t be giving out the house to the illegals while neglecting our own.

Joel

I really like what Mr Olson said about getting into action and trying something. If it's not right, you can always learn from it and then try something else.

I also like Mr Kulla's comment about Salem. I think that learning from other cities is the biggest key to all of this.

I still wonder where the Mayor is? Why do we never hear anything from him?

madmacs

This has nothing to do with illegal immigrants, that is absurd. Housing everywhere has gotten expensive, while paychecks have stagnated for decades. It's a systemic national problem, this is just a localized symptom.

gregtompkins

madmacs, how is it absurd? Immense resource - free housing , 41,000 illegals on Oregon Health Plan, and free schooling for the illegals? And sanctuary law is bringing even more to our magnet sanctuary state . And this situation is adding to shortage. Where else you think they are living ? You don’t see THEM on the streets they are being treated lavishly by the welfare state !

actionjax

Mary Starrett is the only Commissioner who isn't playing politics with this situation Stella. Rick Olsen already put a plug in for Sal Peralta and now in this article he is saying he wants something done. I see Starrett as the only one who gives one ounce of concern for the business community and you don't have to take my word for that ask them. You act like YCAP belongs to one Commissioner because that Commissioner sits on their board (Part of the job of Commissioners).
And let's not forget YCAP has offered the same services for 20 years but this homeless crisis in our county is relatively new we can blame them. The real fact of the matter is it is easier and faster to move up a list in a rural county than it is in a large county.
Put the blame where it belongs on people who make excuses for addiction and laziness. If the city or county make a place for these people it will just get destroyed, the bathrooms will be full of needles and other paraphernalia and the showers will be made inoperable because first a person has to respect themselves before they will respect the property and boundaries of others.

madmacs

Gregtompkins Illegal immigrants are not eligible for housing assistance in Oregon. If kids go to school, I don't mind. Immigrants have no effect on the plight of the homeless. It's the same rhetoric that was used to defame the Irish, Eastern Europeans, Italians, Chinese and on and on.

OregonBorn

Illegals get health care in this state, to now include abortions, and they receive in state tuition for college. Paying less than legal citizens.

So they do consume tax dollars. Which, could be argued, that those funds diverted to help illegals, could go to support legal homeless folks.

So yes, they have a negative economic impact and hurt citizens and impact the plight of the homeless.

gregtompkins

madmacs, you liberals are all so ignorant !! Illegals get a staggering amount of public assistance, yes even housing . I just asked my state legislator’s office about the OHP piece. 41,896 are getting OHP. So that liberal line you always hear about illegals not getting welfare is a bold faced lie. We are being welcoming to illegals to our own detriment ! Free housing free health care , free free free . And what benefit ? Depressed wages and competition for living spaces ? I can’t believe people are so ignorant and brainwashed by leftism. Sanctuary Law has a huge part to play in this housing crisis and homelessness. We need to take care of our own not foreign invaders.

tagup

Greg—-You don’t really believe that the majority of undocumented population receives free housing, and free healthcare do you?.....
My observation is that the vast majority work jobs that locals won’t do....and in the current situation our economy actually needs more workers to actually grow.

madmacs

Gergtompkins, undocumented children under 19 are eligble for OHP and can go to school. The supreme court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982) that undocumented children have the same right to attend k-12 schools as any other child residing in the US. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for housing assistance food stamps or anything else other than what is stated above. People given refugee status are, but they are not undocumented. You accuse me of speaking from a position of ignorance, I suggest you actually educate yourself on the subject using factual, verifiable sources of information; And again, if you think that illegal immigrants have any bearing on the homeless in McMinnville you are hopelessly deluded.

Joel

Tag, I think your right that illegals don't get free housing, but they do get free medical care. They show up at the emergency room for all of their health care...including all or the routine non-emergency stuff like sore throat, ear ache, acid reflux etc) and are not turned away. By law they can't be turned away. So yes, it becomes free health care. And guess who pays for it? You and me with our sky high premiums, and out of pocket payments.

gregtompkins

@tagup - so you’re saying an illegal workforce is good because the locals are too lazy? And that justifies giving all the illegals a free pass to work here without consequence other than free things?

gregtompkins

@madmacs - Here is a story just today about illegals getting free housing. I know it’s Fox News you probably hate that fact but I’m sure a simple google search will show you that you’re wrong about illegals not getting various kinds of free welfare. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-administration-pushes-to-crack-down-on-illegal-immigrants-in-public-housing Liberal West Coast and completely asinine sanctuary policy is big part why we have homelessness and depressed wages. Not to mention school and jail overcrowding

gregtompkins

@Joel Illegal immigrants are the new “slaves” on the plantation so the leftist liberals can sit around reading their books and talking about social justice. While they do absolutely nothing and get others to do their dirty work.

tagup

Joel, While you may be correct about some undocumented immigrants using the emergency room option, I think you would find way more citizens without health coverage doing the same. My hunch is that the cost of serving the undocumented segment is not a major factor in the rising cost of premiums....

tagup

Greg, the fact is, locals don’t do many of the jobs held by migrants. There are many reasons for that,including being physically unable to load trucks, do field work, harvest crops etc. There is also a perception from some,that the type of work is “beneath” them.
In the current market, anyone that really wants a job should be able to find one....and yes, our economy both statewide and nationally needs more labor to grow.
Wouldn’t it make sense to create a viable guest worker program and get the people we need documented to work, rather than build a wall that is doomed to failure?.....It appears that even our president makes use of undocumented workers at his golf resorts....which illustrates that the issue is not just a “liberal” problem.

Mike

Kulla's comment about Salem's solution. It seems practical. I'd be interested to know what Salem has experience with the 'move along in the morning' policy. What happens when they don't pick up and leave? What happens to their gear during the day? Has it helped downtown and moved a problem to the neighborhoods?

Rotwang

If a trailer is parked on the street with expired tags, can it be towed?

gregtompkins

@tagup give me a break it’s not the current President’s Fault. I come from an agricultural background I remember farmers used to sponsor families to come here, do it the “right way.” I don’t know how it got all twisted that how we are supposed to be tolerant of lawlessness , that being against illegals is somehow akin to racism? That’s asinine! And what else is asinine is that we are not only being so welcoming of illegals but are giving them tons of welfare and by doing so depress local wages and put pressure on housing resources? We need a wall and we need e verify and make illegal immigration illegal again !

tagup

Greg, nobody is blaming trump for the immigration problem, it was only an example that shows the issue crosses political lines.

Unemployment is at historic lows...the US economy needs labor that is unavailable.....shouldn’t the country develop a solution through visa management and documentation rather than a barrier that doesn’t address the fact that the majority of undocumented aliens in the US are on expired visas.....

gregtompkins

@tagup, we need a wall, 100% to all types of welfare to illegals and e verify. If you don’t have an employer to sponsor you, then get out ! Because the way it is now there’s rampant abuse of our freebies by the illegals.

tagup

Well...I don’t think the “freebies “ are anywhere near the problem as not having available workers...

gregtompkins

I’m in Santa Cruz there are far more vagrants here than McMinnville!

tagup

So maybe it’s not all lazy people & addicts....maybe it’s a economic issue and an increasing division between the middle class and the poor...

TTT

I believe this would help fix the problem...

https://www.cityofvancouver.us/citycouncil/page/get-facts-about-citys-camping-ordinance

actionjax

Stella, also it isn't as if YCAP's services have changed in the last ten years if this was their problem it would have started a long time ago not three years.
Honestly, much of this type of stuff has happened since marijuana was legalized and implemented. Casey Kulla and his pot farming ilk are a large part of the problem.Look at the correlation yourself if you need clarification.

tagup

Right—- because pot was so difficult to obtain before it was legalized....

Megmaa

It saddens me that the "red curb" is being discussed. That takes the right of the citizens to park on the curb in normal circumstances. It is a traffic hazard to park on both sides of the road curtailing park traffic down to one very unsafe lane. If this isn't good enough to enforce the law, why take away something that the rest of the citizens would otherwise adhere too. Can the road be also closed from dusk til dawn?

Stella

**Actually google the committee that Mary Starrett and many of the service providers are on.... 30+ pages of meeting minutes to read. "McMinnville Homelessness Subcommittee"

It appears back in 2017 they planned for future campsites, tiny homes etc even though the number of non sheltered/ non addicts was TWO??

We need a "camper committee" that does not include service providers but taxpayers. We need to demand enforcement (jail has 100 available beds) and treatment - not a campsite to enable them.

tagup

You want to put working people and some with families in jail?....really?

Stella

Tagup

If their doing drugs and camping.... yes!!!

If they simply fell on hard times I'd suggest a hand up to help them pay camping fees in a park or gain access to an apartment.

I'm talking about the addicts that no one seems to want to help and YES I do mean enforcement = follow the law like the rest of us.

Treehouse

I really think it would help folks a bunch in understanding the range of available responses to read the 9th Circuit opinion in Martin v. Boise.
http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2019/04/01/15-35845.pdf

If we tell our local law enforcement to start arresting people and putting them in jail for sleeping on public property, not only will that not change the situation in the way we'd like, it will cost us all a fortune in settlements and legal fees and probably get our city liability insurance canceled.

There may be other legal responses we can take and it is absolutely a good idea to explore those and consider them carefully. But if we want to reduce the numbers of campers one of the responses we are going to have to take is to increase the total number of available emergency shelter beds.

tagup

Stella, “Doing drugs” is already illegal.....If law enforcement can identify users and dealers there are already statutes in place to address the issue. Past that, there is no way to separate the “down on their luck” people with everyone else...my impression is that many of the homeless have issues other than drug addiction...like mental illness for example.....should they be jailed as well?.....At least ( It appears) we agree that some of the group should have access to an authorized place to stay.

Stella

Tagup

Go to meeting minutes from 2017 "subcommittee for homelessness". In 2017 there were TWO non addicts seeking emergency shelter..... rest were addicts

Deal with the drug addicts, enforce the laws and bingo we have enough services to get those few sheltered.

Quit enabling. Watch the video on utube "McMinnville is a safe haven for homeless white people"

A New Generation

As reported by the News-Register, some of the people interviewed have jobs but cannot afford rent. I’d like a follow-up story as to where the folks displaced by the evictions at the trailer parks on Hwy 18 and more recently across from the post office have landed, as well as those displaced by the demolition of the casitas on 99W near 12th Street. When you take away what little low income housing is available, the problem increases.

Web Design and Web Development by Buildable