By Ossie Bladine • Editor • 

Scores of volunteers, donors create sanctuary at fairgrounds for evacuees

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While this is a commendable, feel-good story that highlights what we as a community can do when called upon, I cannot help but be a killjoy and point out that the response of Yamhill County's citizens was admirable when it came to temporary rehousing, but we still have not found a common ground to stand on when it comes to the plight of Mac's homeless.

The 2020 Homeless Count should of opened our eyes to the reality that even though the local law enforcement has somewhat successfully driven the homeless out of the preferred downtown business corridor, it has not really diminished the overall numbers. There are still a number of homeless out there wandering around, many of which have issues stemming from drugs, alcohol, and mental health concerns.

And do not think that I for one am harping against what has been successfully done thus far, but know that I question the effectiveness of our already in place programs and such offered through the various agencies that Mac is blessed to have. Since the majority of their funding is often tied to that of HHS dollars doled out by the local office, maybe it is time that we take an honest look at how effective these agencies are with our tax dollars. Are we (through them) making a difference?

The three main nonprofit agencies in Mac dealing with the homeless consists of Provoking Hope, Project Able, and Champion Team. There is no record of an audit being conducted.

With the latter agency listed (CT) receiving between $100,000 - $200,000 per year, one has to ask the question of just what kind of a bang are we getting for our buck($)?! Is having an ineffective drop-in center that caters to the homeless, drug users and such (not to mention that it's clientele is 18+ years or older and admits registered and even unregistered sex offenders) in a high traffic area part of Mac really our solution? It is time that we spend our money elsewhere and maybe then we will see the results we have been longing for...