Cheryl Paul and Jodi Anderson are connecting unsheltered individuals with social services in Clatsop County to help get them off the streets and become self-sustaining.
The liaisons, overseen by Clatsop Community Action (CCA), underwent months of training on local social service opportunities for the unhoused and have been meeting with them one-on-one to encourage the use of local resources.
“They connect people on the streets to assistance, ” states CCA Social Services Manager, Susan Prettyman. “Sometimes it’s a pair of socks, sometimes it’s helping a survivor who had to leave their home due to domestic abuse. The Liaisons are often the initial contact for agencies and social workers to help with transitions from the street to housing.”
Introducing unhoused individuals to things like shower passes, mental health resources, bus passes to the methadone clinic, food resources, housing options, energy assistance or just encouraging them to move to better locations, all fall under the Homeless Liaisons’ job description. CCA Case Managers and Community Resource Specialists then continue the process of getting unhoused individuals off the streets and keeping them out of overcrowded emergency rooms.
The liaisons also respond to calls from the public and local businesses for non-criminal situations regarding homeless individuals, providing an alternative to police intervention.
As long as the individual isn’t aggressive or brandishing a weapon, CCA can be contacted at 503-325-1400 and the police can conserve their time and phone lines for more dangerous matters.