On August 9, 2017, around 8:22 am. I contacted a homeless individual named Benjamin Wilson. He was sleeping on the ground underneath a piece of carpet near Singer Hill. After contacting Benjamin, we had a nice conversation about his situation. Benjamin has been homeless for about 6 months and was in the Oregon City area for a court case. Benjamin was currently unemployed and his only monthly income was food stamps.
Benjamin said he was going to check out some nearby apartments and his father was willing to pay for his rent for a couple of months. He gave me contact information for his father, Blair Wilson. I set a goal to assist Benjamin by trying to facilitate a place for him to live with his father's assistance.
I called Mr. Blair Wilson and we discussed Benjamin's situation. Mr. Wilson confirmed he was willing to pay Benjamin's rent if he found a place to live. He told me if needed, he would likely pay for Benjamin's rent for several months.
I reached out to Vahid Brown of Clackamas County Health, Housing, and Human Services. Mr. Brown was quick to send me a comprehensive list of low-cost/below-market-rate rent apartments. I sent the list to Mr. Wilson via email in an effort to work collaboratively to find Benjamin a home.
On August 10, 2017, I received a voicemail from Mr. Wilson with good news. Benjamin had a place to live! I called Mr. Wilson to speak with him further. Mr. Wilson told me Benjamin moved into a residence being run as transitional housing. Mr. Wilson said in addition to housing, Benjamin would be provided 3 meals a day. Mr. Wilson said Benjamin entered a month-to-month contract at the location and his first month's rent and security deposit were paid. Mr. Wilson told me he spoke to Benjamin this morning and Benjamin said he hadn't slept that well in a month.
Excited about the news, I called Benjamin and spoke with him as well. Benjamin told me his father gifted him with his first month's rent and security deposit. Benjamin said he moved into his room yesterday. It would have been nice to congratulate Benjamin in person, but he was working on another great step to improve his life; Benjamin was following up on a job application he submitted at a restaurant. My fingers are crossed for Benjamin to soon be employed.
In the voicemail I received from Mr. Wilson, he said he wanted to thank me for my concern, my care, and all of my help. While Mr. Wilson's words were very kind, my impact on Benjamin's life was small and Mr. Wilson's impact was great. Thank you Mr. Wilson for all you did for Benjamin. I'm hopeful Benjamin never spends another night on the streets.
On August 16, 2017, I followed up with Benjamin at his new home to see how he was settling in. Benjamin clearly had pride in his new living situation, as his room was tidy and personalized with pictures and artwork hung on the wall. Benjamin has a motivated attitude, informing me he applied for a job at Texaco yesterday and he was applying for a cook job today. Continued success is on the horizon for Benjamin.
Officer Mike Day-Homeless Liaison Officer