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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Happy Birthday!!

Is Your birthday coming up? Want to support a great cause while celebrating your birthday? Consider hosting a Facebook fundraiser in honor of your special day!!! Just set an amount on your fundraiser page and encourage your friend start giving in your honor!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Our Homeless Seniors

It can happen to most people at any time. Many of us "older folk" grew up comfortable in the knowledge that there was help if we got into trouble. We could, at the very least, count on a safe place to sleep. That is no longer the case for a growing number of seniors. Since the seventies, with the breakup of extended families, the sad advent of the"tough love" movement and the rapidly changing work market and loss of retirement, more and more of our senior population are suddenly finding themselves on the street.

Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness through innovative storytelling, news, and advocacy. Since our launch in 2008, Invisible People has become a pioneer and trusted resource for inspiring action and raising awareness in support of advocacy, policy change and thoughtful dialogue around poverty in North America and the United Kingdom.

The following is an article from Invisible People 

Homelessness Among the Elderly Expected to Triple in 10 Years

Why America’s Elderly Are Falling Through the Cracks

Most adults hope that by the time they reach age 65, they’ll be able to comfortably retire. They may dream of finally having time to pursue their interests or take up new hobbies. There’s a whole other segment of the elderly population, however, that isn’t living the life they dreamed of. These individuals worry about how they will eat, where they will sleep, and what will happen if they get sick.

The number of elderly individuals experiencing homelessness is rising. In the Annual Homeless Assessment Report, released by HUD, the number of elderly individuals experiencing sheltered homelessness nearly doubled from 4.1 percent in 2007 to 8 percent in 2017. It’s not slowing down, either. This population is expected to triple over the next decade.

A new study out of UCSF showed that almost half of all elderly homeless people became homeless after age 50. These statistics tells us that whatever the problem is, it’s related to age. The question we need to ask ourselves is, why are the elderly falling through the cracks?

Lack of Retirement Funds and Savings

The people who are most at-risk for falling into homelessness at an older age are poor middle-aged individuals. They’re the ones making ends meet through low-wage jobs, but not making quite enough to put money away for retirement.

Their jobs also aren’t as likely to offer adequate retirement benefits. Only 23% of workers have pension plans, and only 15% of those are in the private sector. Low-paying jobs are the least likely to offer pensions, and even when employers offer programs like a 401(k), they’re not utilized as much by workers with low incomes.

People in general, homeless or not, are less confident about whether they’ll have the money they need to get through 20-40 years of retirement. A big part of this is debt. Around 77% of families with heads of households between ages 55-64 are in debt. This is a big problem when finances are already tight. More money owed means less to put into savings, along with the frightening possibility of foreclosure or wage garnishment.

As a result, more people are expecting to have to work post-retirement. Many don’t even have a definite age at which they’re aiming to retire. There simply is no end or relief in sight.

Injuries, Disabilities, and Illnesses

Americans may be working longer, but at some point they’ll no longer be able to perform manual labor. Standing for long periods of time becomes dangerous or even impossible due to health concerns. Disabilities like arthritic and illnesses like chronic pain contribute to people over age 50 not being able to work their former jobs.

To compound the problem, elderly homeless individuals typically have medical needs that those with housing 20 years their senior have. This makes it more difficult for seniors to climb out of homelessness once they enter it.

Most resources and programs are equipped to tackle the major problems facing the general homeless or at-risk population, like mental illness, substance abuse, and housing assistance. Not many offer solutions specifically for the aging, the greatest of which may be physical health.

Government programs are out of date and designed for younger generations. They do not address the entirely different set of factors that place the elderly at risk.

Higher Costs of Living

The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. According to the Economic Policy Institute, minimum wage today would need to be $19 per hour to keep up with necessities like food and housing. Nearly everything costs more than it did for baby boomers when they were younger. Gas prices, healthcare costs, and automobile insurance rates are all going up.

While inflation rises higher and higher each year, wage stagnation ensures Americans have a harder time keeping up. When taking all the increased costs into account, wages haven’t increased significantly. Nearly 40 years ago in 1980, minimum wage was $3.10. It’s just barely doubled, although the average price of a house has quadrupled since that same year. The median rent has doubled, according to a study from Apartment List.

Even the elderly who do have a pension or retirement account are still living on a fixed income. It doesn’t allow for rapidly rising inflation, much less exorbitant housing costs. A notice regarding a hike in rent or an unexpectedly high medical bill can mean financial ruin and, unfortunately, a step closer to homelessness.

Lack of a Safety Net

Many people turn to close family when they encounter financial hardships. For example, it’s common for young adults to move in with their parents during the unstable time immediately after college. For several reasons, older adults don’t always have the same safety net.

Elderly homelessness can begin with a divorce, if one’s spouse was the breadwinner and the other unskilled or uneducated. Other times it may be the eldest in a multi-generational household passing away, leaving the younger generations to fend for themselves.

Even if a struggling aging person does have family who can support them—a son or daughter they can move in with—it can be hard to accept the help. This is especially true if there’s a long-standing problem, like a disability, keeping them from getting back on their feet anytime soon.

Government programs that should provide a safety net, like Social Supplementary Income (SSI), don’t go into effect until an individual reaches age 62. This leaves out those between 50 and 62, who often have quite a few health problems of their own. This is especially problematic if they are low-income, as they’re less likely to receive preventative healthcare.

In addition, the average lifespan of a homeless person living on the street is 65. The tragic implication of this is that many will not even live to reap the benefits of SSI.

Our Response to Homelessness Needs to Adapt

The face of homelessness is changing. We need to take into consideration the unique challenges the elderly bring to the table. Resources and programs simply cannot be allowed to stagnate. We need: more affordable, permanent housing for seniors equipped with proper medical care to engage the struggling baby boomers and seniors by informing them about the resources that are available and finally, we need to empower the elderly by securing legal help when they face issues like foreclosure or financial exploitation. Legal aid is also helpful in securing safety nets for aging individuals, like getting them enrolled in social security when it’s time.No one wants to spend their golden years on the streets. Remember, then, to do your part by keeping yourself aware of the problems facing the homeless and advocating for change.

Victoria VanTol

Why America’s Elderly Are Falling Through the Cracks
Victoria VanTol holds a master's degree in social work. She is a therapist and freelance writer specializing in topics related to social justice and mental health.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Study warns of 156,000 Oregon Households at Risk of Homelessness

This following is an article from  The Oregonian/OregonLive  demonstrating how poverty is affecting everyone in Oregon and around the country.

We can all work together and help those in need get a hand up, not a hand out. At Grace Wins Haven, we work with each individual to identify the issues that lead to poverty and homelessness then we help the individual find resources to alleviate those issues.

You can help change the course of an untold number of lives per year through your tax deductible monetary donations, donations of goods and supplies that can be used at the shelter or sold to fund our mission, fundraising drives, on-line campaigns, by helping us acquire services, volunteering at the shelters...

See our list of needs at the bottom of this page and look for our fundraising notices. If you want to know more contact or come by Grace Wins Haven, who's contact info and address is in the column on the right. 

Study warns of 156,000 Oregon Households at Risk of Homelessness

By Molly Harbarger 
from The Oregonian/OregonLive 
Updated Mar 15, 2019; Posted Mar 14, 2019

A new study from a Portland economic firm says that Oregon has a disproportionately large share of the country’s homeless population -- and many more on the edge. 

The report jumped off a study done two years ago in which Portland residents said they were split on whether they thought the growing number of people living on the street was caused by economic forces or individual choices. 

A homeless man named Carl pushes a cart containing his belongings under I-5 on the east side of the Willamette River.

A homeless man named Carl pushes a cart containing his belongings under I-5 on the east side of the Willamette River.

The study’s authors said Wednesday that they think elected officials and policymakers have spent too much time and money alleviating the symptoms of homelessness and catering to residents who believe homelessness is a choice caused by people who don’t seek help for addiction or mental health issues.
Instead, the study’s authors, ECONorthwest, and funders, Oregon Community Foundation, called for state and local leaders to focus more on the large number of people who live on the edge of homelessness as well as people who have been homeless for a year or more and struggle to stay in housing.
“A lot of the policy solutions are in the space of what I would call the policy of last resort -- which is shelter expansion,” said ECONorthwest consultant John Tapogna.
The entire West Coast is in the midst of a homelessness crisis that sees more people forced on to the street each year. Max Williams of the Oregon Community Foundation said that the state’s largest philanthropic organization wanted more information about what the drivers of this crisis in Oregon is to figure out how to best invest money in stopping it. The foundation and its donor spends about $6 million to $8 million every year in housing and homelessness.
“While we’ve been watching this problem and investing in it in a variety ways for quite some time, what we felt was lacking was clear data,” Williams said.
Many of the ideas in the study will be common to nonprofits and local government bodies who work around homelessness issues. However, Williams said that the study provides a more clear-eyed look at quantifying what the challenges are for stemming the flow of people into homelessness by separating people considered to be chronically homeless and those who are homeless because of unexpected situations in their lives.
Here are three big takeaways from the findings:
1. Oregon’s population makes up only 1.3 percent of the country’s population, yet the state’s population of people who are considered chronically homeless and not in shelter makes up 5.6 percent of that segment of the national population.
2. There are 156,000 households in Oregon that are on the edge of homelessness. These are people who spend at least 50 percent of their income on rent and run the risk of losing their housing from one unexpected medical bill, a layoff or a car repair.
Tapogna said that his study shows that since the most recent recession, the Portland housing market has not kept up with demand -- creating 63 units of housing for ever 100 families formed -- and thus has placed immense pressure on people on the edge of homelessness.

Tapogna argues those are the people least served by the state and Portland’s existing homelessness services framework. He said that he thinks Portland Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services is one of the most effective governmental responses to homelessness in the country, but it won’t make a dent in people with incomes too low to ward off homelessness.
“That is a problem that then requires much more than your Joint Office and the number of very well-functioning and well-armed nonprofits,” Tapogna said. “This is a broad economic issue. It is an issue that involves the state Legislature, it’s an issue that involves community planning departments in cities and counties across the state, and it also involves the federal government that is the major provider of subsidies to low-income families.”
3. Local and state officials have some solutions for people who struggle the most to stay in housing, according to the study, but not enough analysis is done to figure out how to measure the benefits of those solutions and which tactic works best for which kind of person.
For instance, the study encourages Portland and Multnomah County’s push for more permanent supportive housing -- housing for people with little to no income who also have mental health issues, addiction, criminal records or other obstacles to staying in housing and becoming self-sufficient.
However, Tapogna said that the supportive housing model could use more measurements of who thrives best in that environment, and thus who should be prioritized for it. He also said that the cost savings long-term are not adequately known, among other measures.
-- Molly HarbargerThe Oregonian/OregonLive 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Free HIV Testing at Grace Wins Haven

Every Tuesday the Lincoln County Health Department offers free testing for HIV and hepatitis C at Grace Wins Haven 437 N.E. 1st in Newport.

Monday, June 17, 2019

TLC Food Drive through June 28th, 2019

TLC Federal Credit Union is running a food and cash drive through June 28th for Grace Wins Haven. 

So, stop by their Newport office at 1625 Oregon Coast Hwy and help support Grace Wins and see how the folks at TLC can help you.

TLC, a Division of Fibre Federal Credit Union

Sunday, June 16, 2019

10 Hollywood Stars Who Became Homeless

An interesting tidbit. You never know who you might be seeing on the street or flying a sign.

Friday, June 14, 2019

We're on eBay

We just put our first Item on eBay. Have a look: Grace Wins Haven on eBay, And watch for many more items for Grace Wins.

We would like to thank everyone who has donated items. Traci started Grace Wins with no money trusting in God and the community. And here we are, a year later.

The expenses just keep going Today, is the same as all of history, we never run out of people who need a little, or a lot of help. We are extremely grateful for the monetary donations of the community, but they are not enough. Grace Wins is looking for more ways to support the mission.

We are beginning sales of donated items on eBay as one of several possible routes to funding the Grace Wins Haven Mission and expansion.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

It's a great time to donate with so many easy options!!!

It's a great time to donate with so many easy options!!! 

Bring us your cans and bottles, donate with paypal, Drop food or donations of @ TLC A division of Fibre Federal Credit Union, Sign up to donate through Amazon Smile, Donate Items that we can sell on Ebay, Take cans and bottles to Bottle Drop and tell them you would like to donate them To Grace Wins Haven, Donate directly on Amazon Smile, Sell your items on ebay and donate a portion to Grace wins through Ebay Charities, check out our wishlist on Amazon Smile. Or donate directly items or financial support Directly at Grace Wins Haven!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Grace Wins Haven is now on Amazon Smile

If donors shop through Amazon Smile a percentage will go to support Grace Wins Haven. To learn more click on the link below.

Grace Wins Haven Amazon Smile

Or you can use the banner at the bottom of the website.

Also, we are keeping a wish list on Amazon Smile for yet another way of helping.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Around the Net - Disease Causing Homelessness Causing Disease

The following is an excerpt from an article by the "Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Health Care for Homeless People. " You may see the citation at the end of this article and read more by following the links in the citation.

Grace Wins Haven and all those who join us in our mission are helping deal with some of the issues described in the article by offering a safe, dry place to be out of the weather and space to perform important self care. We also offer help in finding resources, filling out paper work, used eye glasses for those who could not otherwise see and many other ways to help that pop up everyday. As Grace Wins Haven grows we hope to offer more services and more effective services. Together we can make a difference.

Health Problems of Homeless People

Homeless people are at relatively high risk for a broad range of acute and chronic illnesses. Precise data on the prevalence of specific illnesses among homeless people compared with those among nonhomeless people are difficult to obtain, but there is a body of information indicating that homelessness is associated with a number of physical and mental problems. This is evident not only in recent data from the Social and Demographic Research Institute but also in individual published reports in the medical literature. It also was apparent to the committee in its site visits across the country.

Types of Interactions Between Health and Homelessness

In examining the relationship between homelessness and health, the committee observed that there are three different types of interactions: (1) Some health problems precede and causally contribute to homelessness, (2) others are consequences of homelessness, and (3) homelessness complicates the treatment of many illnesses. Of course, certain diseases and treatments cut across these patterns and may occur in all three categories.

Health Problems That Cause Homelessness

Certain illnesses and health problems are frequent antecedents of homelessness. The most common of these are the major mental illnesses, especially chronic schizophrenia. As mentally ill people's disabilities worsen, their ability to cope with their surroundings—or the ability of those around them to cope with their behavior—becomes severely strained. In the absence of appropriate therapeutic interventions and supportive alternative housing arrangements, many wind up on the streets. Another contemporary example of illness leading to homelessness is AIDS. As the disease progresses and leads to repeated and more serious bouts with opportunistic infections, the individual becomes unable to work and may be unable to afford to continue paying rent. Other health problems contributing to homelessness include alcoholism and drug dependence, disabling conditions that cause a person to become unemployed, or any major illness that results in massive health care expenses.
One type of health problem in this category—about which the committee heard much during several site visits—is accidental injury, especially job related accidents. Although such programs as Workers' Compensation were designed to prevent economic devastation as a result of workplace casualties, they often fall far short of what is optimal for many reasons, including lack of knowledge of the program by the employee, low levels of benefits under the program, and lack of benefits for "off the books" work and migrant farm labor. A case study illustrates the point:
Samuel Anderson arrived in New York City in 1985 from his native Oklahoma. He is 24 years old, educated through the 11th grade, and says he left his rural surroundings because there was no opportunity to work, ". . . there was no job with something ahead of it." He feels that his chances will be best in the "biggest town I know of." In New York, he is studying for a graduate equivalency diploma and supports himself as an evening security guard. His wages are enough to pay for a rented room in the borough of Queens. Five months after starting work, he scuffles with intruders and suffers gunshot wounds in his right leg and hand (he is right-handed). Mr. Anderson spends 2 weeks in the hospital after losing four pints of blood through his wounds. A vascular surgeon and a neurosurgeon repair his shattered hand during a 4-hour microsurgical procedure. In the meantime, his room in Queens (he is in a hospital in the borough of Manhattan, some distance away) is rented to someone else because of his absence and the concurrent lack of rent payment. After discharge from the hospital, he spends a few nights in a hotel. When his money runs out, he sleeps in a city park, finally coming to a shelter.
In addition to accidents, various common illnesses such as the degenerative diseases that accompany old age can also lead to homelessness:
James Barnam, now 62 years old, has worked regularly since age 17, but has never found a job with secure employee benefits. He has lived a marginal existence: adequate funds for food and a room in a single room occupancy hotel, but certainly not enough for savings. He is fired from his long-held kitchen job because he cannot see the food stains on the dishes; after working 2 days as a messenger, he is let go because items were delivered to incorrect addresses. Mr. Barnam has eye cataracts, a frequent accompaniment of older age and treatable with ambulatory surgery for those patients with health insurance. Mr. Barnam's marginal income entitles him to Medicaid benefits, but he is unable to negotiate the public welfare system and has no one to guide him through forms, appointments, and examinations. Upon losing his hotel room, Mr. Barnam goes to a shelter for homeless men after he is discovered at a bus station by outreach workers. However, even there, his health problem remains troublesome: he almost loses his bed because he fails to sign a daily bed roster he cannot see.
In each of these cases, employment was not secure, and the man lacked a network of family or friends. The fact that health problems precipitated homelessness underscores the relationships among health status, employment, social supports, and access to affordable housing.

Health Problems That Result from Being Homeless

Homelessness increases the risk of developing health problems such as diseases of the extremities and skin disorders; it increases the possibility of trauma, especially as a result of physical assault or rape (Kelly, 1985). It can also turn a relatively minor health problem into a serious illness, as can be seen by the case of Doris Foy:
Doris Foy's varicose veins occasionally result in swollen ankles. When homeless, she sleeps upright, and her legs swell so severely that tissue breakdown develops into open lacerations. She covers these with cloth and stockings—enough to absorb the drainage but also to cause her to be repugnant to others because of the smell and unsightly brown stains. She is eventually brought to a clinic by an outreach worker. When the cloth and the stockings are removed from the legs, there are maggots in the wounds. She is taken to the emergency room of a hospital, where her wounds are cleaned.
Other health problems that may result from or that are commonly associated with homelessness include malnutrition, parasitic infestations, dental and periodontal disease, degenerative joint diseases, venereal diseases, hepatic cirrhosis secondary to alcoholism, and infectious hepatitis related to intravenous (IV) drug abuse.

Homelessness as a Complicating Factor in Health Care

For even the most routine medical treatment, the state of being homeless makes the provision of care extraordinarily difficult. Even the need for bed rest is complicated, if not impossible, when the patient does not have a bed or, as is the case in many shelters for the homeless, must leave the shelter in the early morning. Diabetes, for example, usually is not difficult to treat in a domiciled person. For most people, daily insulin injections and control of diet are adequate. In a homeless person, however, treatment is virtually impossible: Some types of insulin need to be refrigerated; syringes may be stolen (in cities where IV drug abuse is common, syringes have a high street value) or, sometimes, the homeless diabetic may be mistaken for an IV drug abuser; and diet cannot be controlled because soup kitchens serve whatever they can get, which rules out special therapeutic diets. The following case illustrates the various problems involved in treating a homeless man with another common chronic medical problem, hypertension:
Tyrone Harrison is black, 26 years old, and homeless because he cannot find a job. He wants to work in the shelter kitchen and waits 3 hours for a preemployment physical examination. He is friendly and describes himself as "very healthy." His blood pressure is 180/120. His smile disappears and he feels "cut down." Because he is homeless, he must deal with his illness, private and asymptomatic, in the public spaces of the shelter. He refuses to talk about high blood pressure with the fellows in the dormitory—it diminishes his macho image. He tells the nurse that his blood pressure reading must be a mistake. Three weeks later, after six contacts with the medical outreach worker, he confides that his cousin had been a dialysis patient because of hypertensive kidney disease. Weeks later, after several more visits to the medical team, Tyrone consents to medication for his persistently elevated blood pressure. His 2-week supply of pills are stolen 4 days later. An argument erupts in the dormitory and, in accord with routine regulations, Tyrone is put out of the shelter for 2 weeks. On his return to the shelter, his blood pressure is uncontrolled because he had no medication.
The cases described above exemplify not only how homelessness complicates treatment but how burdens are placed on various parts of the social system and on the homeless persons themselves. Because he lacked any form of health insurance, Samuel Anderson did not receive rehabilitation therapy for his right hand, and as a result developed stiffness and had significant loss of fine and gross motor skills; he had to apply for permanent disability benefits. Doris Foy was admitted to the hospital, because the treatment for her leg ulcers, which consisted of elevating her leg and taking prescribed antibiotics, is impossible for a homeless patient. Not only does her hospital stay make a bed unavailable for someone else who might possibly be in more serious need of inpatient treatment, but it also means that the hospital will not be reimbursed for her treatment because under the present system of utilization review, cellulitis with leg ulcers is judged to be treatable on an outpatient basis, and therefore, inpatient treatment for this condition may not be covered by Medicaid.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Health Care for Homeless People. Homelessness, Health, and Human Needs. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1988. 3, Health Problems of Homeless People. Available from:

Saturday, June 1, 2019

One Families First Steps of Success

Another great accomplishment for one of our families... We had a family seek help over Mother's Day weekend,,,, They were in need of camping gear, blankets, etc.... In just two weeks both parents have found full time work, one being at Shangri La.... I would like to congratulate this family on the first steps to their future successes!! They make great role models for other families in this kind of circumstance!

What We Do

I was asked today what exactly does Grace Wins Haven do? 

Grace Wins Haven helps community members work toward goals and bettering their situations. We offer anyone in our community: services and referrals, an address so people may receive mail and get ID, lockers to put stuff in while you are looking for work or going to an appointment, a clothes closet, showers, hygiene products, food bags, a laundry facility. If funding is available we help with gas vouchers, ID, birth certificates, etc. to help people get to work or a job interview.

We partner with other organizations and refer people to get rental assistance, energy assistance, shelter assistance, to get people into treatment and to other facilities.

We offer someone to walk beside you while you go through life circumstances. Whether you are homeless or just needing a hand up we're here. We're here to help Build a Better Community!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Homeless in Newport

Everyone can come to this site to keep up on all the latest news from Grace Wins Haven's daytime resource center and all the ways Grace Wins is growing in the future.

Our society and culture are changing so fast that many people are being torn from the lives they were building. They suddenly find themselves, often with their families, on the street with no resources.
Image result for grace wins haven newport oregonAccording to the HUD point in time count, in hour United States on one night in 2018, there were 552,830 people struggling to find a safe place to sleep. I've been working in this field for sometime and in my experience I believe that number should be more than doubled. 

Here, in Lincoln County, Grace Wins Haven is working with the Newport Homeless Task Force, The Community Services Consortium, Citizens and many other organizations and individuals to help resolve our share of the plague of homelessness that is sweeping the U.S.

For a look at what Grace Wins Haven does, see the post What We Do.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Welcome to the Grace Wins Haven's New Website/Blog

Everyone can come to this site to keep up on all the latest news from Grace Wins Haven's daytime resource center and all the ways Grace Wins is growing in the future.

Image result for grace wins haven newport oregonOur society and culture are changing so fast that many people are being torn from the lives they were building. They suddenly find themselves, often with their families, on the street with no resources.

According to the HUD point in time count, in our United States on one night in 2018, there were 552,830 people struggling to find a safe place to sleep. I've been working in this field for sometime and in my experience I believe that number should be more than doubled. 

Here, in Lincoln County, Grace Wins Haven is working with the Newport Homeless Task Force, The Community Services Consortium, Citizens and many other organizations and individuals to help resolve our share of the plague of homelessness that is sweeping the U.S.

For a look at what Grace Wins Haven does, see the post What We Do.