Tag Archives: Multnomah County Health Department

‘Domicile unknown’

By Joanne Zuhl, Staff Writer

Laurie Crow would have been 54 on Dec. 27, 2011.

Instead, she became one of 47.

Only a few weeks before her birthday, she died curled up in her sleeping bag in a meadow near Going Street. Her partner, Clarence, was next to her, awake and listening as she slept through daybreak.

What he was hearing, in fact, was her body cooling in the December chill. It was Dec. 7.

The other 46 were also homeless, and all died on the streets of Portland in 2011.

Fourty-seven: Nearly 1 a week. Continue reading

Another political casualty: Needle exchange programs rely on local support after the feds bail on funding

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

For the second time in two years, Congress is reversing its policy on federal funding for syringe exchange programs, leaving many in health care business wondering how far local money can continue to carry the harm reduction programs.

While Portland and Multnomah County’s needle exchange clinics don’t expect a direct hit from the federal funding ban, shrinking state and local dollars are another issue altogether.

Kathy Oliver, the executive director of Outside In, a Portland-area homeless youth agency operating a needle exchange that is frequently used by young injection drug users, worries in particular about $63,000 in one-time money from the City of Portland that may be cut this year. Continue reading

Making Portland’s complex food deserts grow green

Fresh vegetables are the star at the new Village Market, a nonprofit grocery store serving low-income families in North Portland.

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

Not having a grocery store near North Portland’s New Columbia neighborhood after Big City Produce closed in 2007, “was sad,” says resident Trevon Oliver.

Oliver, who has lived in New Columbia for four years, says people had to travel at least two and a half miles to the nearest grocery store, a Safeway in St. Johns neighborhood. Oliver traveled 12 miles to the WinCo on NE 102nd because food prices there were cheaper.

Grocery shopping became stressful. “A lot of people around here do not like to travel,” Oliver says. Two TriMet bus lines serve New Columbia, but only one runs regularly. Many in the elderly population who can’t drive relied upon friends or family for transportation. And some of New Columbia’s immigrant community — representing 22 countries and speaking 11 languages — are not fluent in English, and unfamiliar with Portland’s transportation system. Continue reading