Housing struggles? We want to hear from you

You count.

Maybe you’ve forgotten because life is so overwhelming, and it seems like all you can do is keep your head above water. Maybe you’ve forgotten because you wish so badly you could provide more for your kids. Maybe you’ve forgotten because every day brings a new blow to your finances, your pride, or your health.

Even now, especially now, you count. You matter. You are seen.

We know that one of the biggest challenges that Lake County residents face is housing. It’s hard to find a place to rent, much less buy. We know many of our friends and neighbors are staying in hotels, living in RVs, crashing on couches, or sleeping in barns, sheds, and trailers just to get out of the weather.

Several community partners are working to address the housing problem, but we need your help. We want to apply for grants and loans that would allow us to build rentals, affordable housing units, and supportive housing. In order to plead our case, we must show funders that we have a real need in Lake County.

One way to do that is through the Point In Time Count. Klamath and Lake Community Action Services (KLCAS), with help from several local partners, will be in Christmas Valley January 29 and in Lakeview January 31 to survey residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Let’s get our definitions straight: What do we mean by homelessness?

  • Are you sleeping outside?

  • Are you staying in a hotel that’s paid for by an agency or nonprofit?

  • Are you living in a vehicle?

  • Are you staying in a tent, camper, or RV without hookups?

  • Are you living in an abandoned building?

  • Are you sleeping in a shed, barn, trailer, or garage?

  • Are you squeezing in with friends, family, or acquaintances?

  • Are you couch surfing?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re who we need to hear from. We’ll give you a confidential survey. We don’t take names, just initials, and we’ll ask a few questions about what led to your struggle with housing. The results will help us secure funding that will improve and increase our housing options.

KLCAS will be at the North Lake Soup Kitchen, on Holly Lane behind the Chevron Station in Christmas Valley from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, January 29. KLCAS will be at The Gathering Place, 3 North F St., Lakeview, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, January 31. Winter clothing, socks, blankets, survival gear, and food will be available at both sites. The Lakeview site is handing out Safeway gift cards. In some cases, we may be able to come to you if you can’t make it to the site.

You matter. Please show up and be counted.

We’re also interested in hearing your stories about struggling with housing. While collecting data is critical to finding funding, it can also help to share real life stories about how people have struggled with housing. If you’d like to share your story with us, please comment on this post, leave us a comment on Facebook, or send us an email at outbackstrong@gmail.com.