Homeless man in Grants Pass frustrated, as city is unsure on plans

GRANTS PASS, Ore — A homeless man in Grants Pass is opening up about his struggles living on the streets, as city councilors continue the debate on a housing strategy.

William Hopkins, originally from Monterey county, California, moved in with his daughter in August of 2022. However, Hopkins said he was forced to leave because her building did not allow extra tenants.

He and his dog have been staying in a tent in various parks around the city.

“What I have is what I need to survive,” Hopkins said while showing the materials inside the tent. “You have the police come in every week, moving you out from one park to another. It’s not fair.”

Hopkins works overnight shifts at a local convenience store. He shared that he’s getting back on track financially, but medical issues and unstable housing is setting him back.

“I lost my right eye and my left eye was going so I wasn’t able to work, Hopkins said. “So I had to take out some loans and pay them off, to get to where I am now. ” 

Hopkins said he has been getting turned away from apartments based on his appearance.

In February, Grants Pass Mayor Sara Bristol, noted that the city continues to address the situation. They’ve faced lawsuits in recent years, and has been working to develop and navigation center or overnight shelter.

However, councilors have been unable to agree on a plan. Bristol vetoed the council’s decision to remove items related to helping the homeless, from the city’s priority list.

RELATED: Grants Pass leaders clash over homelessness in strategic plan

Last week, the city of Grants Pass declared a state of emergency.

 “This community really needs to do something to address the homeless issue,” Bristol said. “We have homeless people overtaking our parks and its been getting worse the past two years.”  

Hopkins is asking for more affordable housing and spaces to be built for the unhoused population.

“A stable place, that’s what we all need,” said Hopkins.

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Anthony Carter is a reporter for NBC5 News. He grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Elizabethtown College in 2019. Anthony started his career as a print journalist, covering New York sports and the NBA Draft. He then started his own sports podcast and website covering the Arena Football League. Anthony moved to the Rogue Valley in 2019 as a news producer before joining the NBC5 News family. Anthony likes to workout at the gym, play basketball, and root for his Atlanta Hawks and New York Jets. Want to connect with Anthony? send him an email: [email protected]
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