The newest wrinkle in the rankle between the downtown homeless shelter and surrounding residents and businesses is a supposed flight to the airport area for Corvallis Housing First, via a heave-ho from local business types who cannot force this issue, but who can ask real nice. However, shelter director Gina Vee is on record saying their present location is just great—like property and zoning done-deal great.
Add the facility’s proximity to social and business services and free buses, and it becomes difficult to see how a homeless shelter could be persuaded to leave such a location.
As an aside, here’s why the neighbors are not loving this shelter: CHF attracts a particular subset of the homeless population, the mentally ill or disabled, that can be hard on the surrounding community. While many cities and shelters put mitigations in place to make similar agencies easier on the neighbors, Corvallis lacks the interagency coordination and wraparound programs one might find elsewhere.
Anyhow, back to that aforementioned heave-ho for the shelter. One wonders if incentives might be attached, but then at what cost and who will pay? There is talk of other locations to consider beyond the airport, but nobody is saying where—and at the end of the day, the shelter is looking quite comfortably settled in—just sayin’.
By Joel Hudson