A New Chapter in Addressing Homelessness in Grants Pass

Dear fellow citizens of Grants Pass,

As your candidate for state senator, I want to address the recent Supreme Court decision that has put our community in the national spotlight. The ruling in Grants Pass v. Johnson marks a significant shift in how we can approach the challenging issue of homelessness in our city and across Oregon.

For years, our local officials have grappled with the complex balance between compassion for those experiencing homelessness and the need to maintain safe, clean public spaces for all residents. The Supreme Court’s decision now provides clarity on the tools available to our city in addressing homeless encampments.

However, this ruling is not a silver bullet. It’s a starting point for a renewed, comprehensive approach to tackling homelessness in Grants Pass and throughout our state. As your potential state senator, I believe we must seize this opportunity to implement thoughtful, balanced policies that address both the symptoms and root causes of homelessness.

Here’s what I propose:

  1. Empower local solutions: Work closely with our city officials to develop strategies that fit Grants Pass’s unique needs while respecting the dignity of all our residents. Namely, land use permitting and the allowance of more ADUs in our region. 
  2. Invest in affordable housing: Address the skyrocketing housing costs that contribute to homelessness by supporting initiatives to increase affordable housing options. To this end we need a dedicated development tool for the exclusive purpose of addressing our housing shortage, since most local developers have no desire to build low income housing.
  3. Enhance mental health and addiction services: Many of our unsheltered neighbors struggle with mental health issues or substance abuse. We must expand access to treatment and support services. This is more needed now that Measure 100 has largely been repealed. 
  4. Create economic opportunities: Develop job training programs and partnerships with local businesses to help those experiencing homelessness find stable employment. This is certainly at the core of so many of our issues locally, but the solutions are not simple and lack of economic opportunity is actually driving our brightest away from the area. 
  5. Establish transitional housing: Work on creating more transitional housing options to help individuals move from the streets into stable living situations. But this is only a stop gap and doesn’t address the long-term issue of permanent housing for these people. 

The Supreme Court’s decision is not about criminalizing homelessness – it’s about providing our community with the flexibility to address this crisis effectively. As your state senator, I pledge to work tirelessly to ensure that Grants Pass becomes a model for compassionate, effective homelessness policy.

Together, we can create a Grants Pass that is safe, clean, and provides opportunities for all its residents to thrive. I ask for your support in this crucial mission.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *