In 2015-2017 Oregon Housing and Community Services Homeless Count reports when counting the homeless in 2015 there were 13,176 and has grown to 13,953 in 2017. This is a 6% increase in two years, 57% are unsheltered, and women represented 39% of the homeless count. Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency states when the homeless was given a survey on the count day it was reported the some top reasons why they were homeless was they are unemployed and couldn’t afford rent. Also another question was what is the hardest part about being homeless? Many answered staying dry, obtaining employment, loneliness, hopelessness, no family support, and no safe place to sleep for their children and themselves.
Moving Forward has been providing safe housing, employment experience and training, child care, and a sense of belonging for the past 8 years. We are currently continuing to provide these services to women and their children. All participants that have lived in Moving Forwards transitional homes have graduated with the certificates and training required by the State Of Oregon to work in the field of early education child care. While living in the homes many of the women and children have formed relationships and bonds that support each other in difficult times and in times of celebrations. Participants have gained knowledge and experience in life skills and parent education. All graduated participants continue to use what they gained from the program and have not returned to the life of homelessness. In the 8 years Moving Forward has been operating we have helped 65 adults, 50 children and we are currently housing 4 women. As the homeless community increases there is a need for more housing with resources that will help decrease homelessness.