This morning, Multnomah County released a new report, co-authored by Street Roots on the number of homeless people who died on the streets last year. The county medical examiner’s office counted 47 men and women died literally on the streets in 2011, and that counts only those who fall within it jurisdiction. The Multnomah County Health Department considers it a subset of people who die homeless, and doesn’t count people who were under medical care at the time of their death, for example.
“This is not what a strong, healthy community looks like,” Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury told reporters at a press conference in the county offices this morning. Street Roots Executive Director Israel Bayer and City Commissioner Nick Fish also spoke on the report.
‘”This report offers our community a glimpse into the harsh realities of homelessness and should give us pause knowing that these individuals who have passed are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers. They are human beings who tragically died with no place to call home,’’ says Israel Bayer, executive director of Street Roots.
“This report is a reminder of why housing and healthcare matter in our community and why both government and the public should continue to work tirelessly towards giving people the opportunity for a better life.” Bayer said.
Charles Yost, a Street Roots vendor who has known years of homelessness, was on hand for the press conference in the Multnomah County Commissioner offices this morning. “It’s not safe out there,” Yost told reporters. Yost recently got off the streets and moved into his own apartment with the help of Northwest Pilot Project and Street Roots.
Read more about the report and it’s recommendations for moving forward in the new edition of Street Roots, now available through your local vendor.
Read more about the report and press conference here.