Living Without Housing
Not since the Great Depression has America had so many homeless people. The word “homeless” tends to conjure up images of people sleeping in the streets. Today, living without housing or living in an unstable housing situation, can look any number of ways. People who experience unstable housing include women, families, youth, children, veterans, people who have mental or physical disabilities, seniors, and others. People of color and members of the Lesbian, Trans, Bisexual and Gay (LTBG) community make up a growing number of homeless.
Homelessness looks different depending on where you live in Okanogan County. In some parts of the county, it means living under a bridge or spending a night at the Okanogan Homeless Shelter. In other parts of the county, it means setting a tent up in a forest or sleeping on a friend’s couch.
Since the 1980s, homelessness has been on the rise because of widening income disparities in the United States. In Okanogan County, poverty, lack of living wage jobs, wildfires, and lack of affordable housing mean many of our neighbors living on the margins are being pushed into homelessness.
Nearly every social service agency in Okanogan County is working on finding solutions to homelessness. A goal of the members of the Okanogan County Housing Coalition is to keep people housed by preventing eviction and family break down as much as possible and to make new low-income housing available.
To raise awareness of what people in our community who live without permanent housing face every day, the Okanogan County Housing Coalition launched a social media campaign called The Face of Homelessness in Okanogan County on December 21, 2022, the first day of winter and National Homeless Persons Memorial Day. Each week information about homelessness and resources in the community for people living without housing will be posted on social media sites of agencies across the county.
The Face of Homelessness in Okanogan County social media posts are available for use by any community group. Feel free to download and post.
Look for more information on the websites and social media sites of the following coalition members. Also, read the latest studies and plans related to housing and homelessness in Okanogan County:
- Okanogan County Housing Needs Study, October 2022 (download here)
- Okanogan Homeless Housing Plan, 2019-2024 (download here)