S.O. Close to Homeless: Part Fifteen

Grants Pass, Ore. — NBC5 News is partnering with Access to start a community discussion, and bring you an in-depth look into the lives of people who are homeless, have been homeless, or who are very close to it. In week 15, we’re switching the focus to Grants Pass, where organizations like United Community Action Network, or UCAN, are helping people through hard times.

Ken Wright has reached out to their services.

“It’s a challenge from day to day,” Wright said. “You have different options that you can use here and there.”

Wright has struggled with homelessness off and on for years. It all started back in 2011, when he says his body gave out over stress.

“I went into a coma and I was deemed non-returnable to the workforce,” Wright said.

Now years later, he’s still working to find stable housing — something that UCAN specializes in.

“We have a plethora of different types of funding that we assist with,” Di Bradley said. “Anywhere from a one time emergency, to case management assistance up to two years.”

Bradley, UCAN’s Housing Program Manager¬† says that financial help can cover anything from rent to deposits. But she says UCAN also helps with daily needs for people who are still on the street.

“Sleeping bags, tents, socks,” Bradley listed.

UCAN also partners with St. Vincent De Paul, and hosts their mobile kitchen every Friday afternoon. Volunteer Lois McWhorter says they’re always serving a large crowd.

“Most people are very very grateful, and thank us, they come back to thank us” McWhorter said. “And they’re hungry, they really need this meal.”

Wright says it was both services that brought him here. He says it’s not just the one meal he’s grateful for — it’s the attention and investment being made in a problem that affects the entire community.

“It’s a real life challenge,” Wright said. “And we all need a hand up, not a hand out.”

To learn more about local resources, click here.


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