Shafer: Homeless are locals

By on Friday, March 17th, 2023 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – Project PATH, which stands for Practical Assistance through Transitional Housing, remains on target for a grand opening this summer. The city of Umatilla is taking the lead on the project that will help the homeless find housing alternatives. It will provide housing and guidance for the citizens of Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield, Echo, and the county.

County Commissioner John Shafer has seen comments that the project, funded by the state, will be used for homeless people bused into the area from elsewhere in the state. He says that is simply not true.

“The people that we’re seeing are people who are already in the community,” Shafer said. They’re from Hermiston, Echo, Stanfield, Umatilla, and out in the county.”

He said when people are being interviewed for intake, they are asked where they come from and where they call home along with other questions. He added that Umatilla City Manager Dave Stockdale is sure they are from the area.

“Those kinds of questions are being asked during intake,” he said. “We ask them because we’re hearing that a lot – is Portland busing their homeless here? The answer is no.”

Graphic via the city of Umatilla