Oregon has a disproportionately larger population living on the streets when compared with other states. But one man is been taking the problem into his own hands, and he is making a difference.
PORTLAND, Ore., September 16, 2021 (Newswire.com) - At a community open house and forum, the Church of Scientology Portland recognized local activist and humanitarian Homer Williams, founder and CEO of Oregon Harbor of Hope, for his efforts to help resolve the homeless crisis, currently one of the state's most pressing social problems.
Oregon Harbor of Hope shelter provides homeless people with essential services to help them stabilize their lives. Williams has found most people are surprised that nearly half of those using his shelter facilities go to work every day. They simply can't afford the high cost of housing.
A retired real estate developer, Williams recognizes that "the city, county and state are working hard to address our crisis, but they cannot solve this problem alone. The private sector must get involved to help turn this problem around. This is our city. This is our home. These are our homeless. We can make a huge impact and give people hope. They need our help."
Williams has devised a four-point plan which he presented to those attending the open house at the Church:
- Home Share Oregon: This is a computer program that matches people who have extra bedrooms in their homes with people who can afford only a small amount for rent. The matching service includes a long list of compatibility questions, background checks and legal services. It is free to use thanks to the support of donations and grants. There are well over 1 million spare bedrooms in owner-occupied homes in Oregon. If only 2 percent of those rooms were rented to people who can't afford the cost of an apartment, 20,000 people would have a safe and affordable housing option not currently available. That is more than the 14,655 homeless in Oregon reported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for 2020.
- Hotel/Motel Conversion Program: Willams says this is the most cost-effective way to immediately provide housing. These conversions can be done in months rather than years at a fraction of the cost for new construction.
- Managed Community "Pods": Prefabricated tiny homes uniquely designed for easy assembly in a community along with modular service buildings to provide residents access to kitchens, showers, restrooms, laundry facilities and outdoor gathering areas. They provide residents the resources for a good night's sleep, their own address, space, and access to centralized resources designed to provide job placement opportunities and ultimately, help to find a home of their own.
- AdoptOneBlock: A program to urge residents to sign up online, pick a block, select the cleaning supplies they will need, which are delivered to them to clean the chosen block. Some 2,800 people have signed up as "block ambassadors." Williams expects to have over 10,000 by the end of the year.
In presenting the Church's acknowledgment to Williams for his work and vision, Public Affairs Director Cherie Gross spoke of the partnership Harbor of Hope has with the Volunteer Ministers of the Church of Scientology Portland. She said that Williams and his nonprofit organization are living examples of the motto of the Volunteer Ministers, that no matter the circumstances, "something can be done about it."
Church of Scientology Portland is an Ideal Scientology Organization, dedicated in May 2013 by Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.
To learn more about the Church of Scientology Portland, watch Destination Scientology: Portland, an episode of an original series, available on DIRECTV 320, at Scientology.tv and through Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, YouTube and mobile apps for smartphones and tablets.
For more information, visit the Scientology Newsroom.
Source: Church of Scientology International