T.H.E. House in Coos County switches to longer-term solution format

Occupants are no longer capped at seven days max stay, but instead have their bed until more permanent housing or other needs are available for them.

COOS COUNTY, Ore. - Coos County suffers from a high homeless population.

One of it's only over-night shelters, the T.H.E. House was acquired by Bay Area First Step. The organization is doing away with the first-come-first-serve basis and has transitioned it to a "by reservation" format.

Occupants are no longer capped at seven days max stay, but instead have their bed until more permanent housing or other needs are available for them.

Patty Sanden, with Bay Area First Step, said it's part of their goal to find out the obstacles this community faces, and to help solve the problems.

"Our goal is to really bring it more into line with best practices and turn it in to more of a expectation that you're going to get out of this situation, you're going to find permanent housing, maybe get a job," said Sanden.

Sanden said the T.H.E. House is separate from the organization's other drug and alcohol centered housing, and that they don't plan on drug testing their occupants.

Applicants can list their needs, from mentoring and treatment to obtaining housing to identification cards and employment.

Sanden said they've seen 50 people at the shelter and have served roughly 3,000 meals.

This month they've had seven exit. One they helped find Drug & Alcohol Free Housing for, one rental by client, another getting care in the hospital, and two other former occupants are staying with family and/or friends.

She said they've been "successfully moving people out into their own units."

They are currently accepting applications for two open beds.

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