Share House is a very busy place during the winter. Offering beds, warm meals, and counseling for the homeless, Share House is--for many--the last option for sleep that's not on the street. And while it would have been natural to assume that the numbers of homeless in Vancouver, Washington--like the rest of the nation--would have seen a surge of homelessness during the "Great Recession" the opposite is true. Federal funding levels were raised during the recession, and now that those funds have dwindled and rental markets are more competitive it becomes even more challenging for some to break the cycle of homelessness. As you may have seen, Cadet puts a major emphasis on having our employees involved in the community. In fact, our employees logged more than 1,500 volunteer hours in 2014 and we recently helped rebuild a Portland widow's home with the help of other local companies. Last year a few of us volunteered to serve a meal at Share House, while we were there we noticed a few Cadet heaters that have seen their better days. So we decided to do something about it. Here's more information about the homeless in Clark County that's not contained in the video:
- Based on the most recent "Point In Time" homeless study, the number of homeless individuals has declined slowly over the past three years, but the number of homeless families has increased.
- The number of families living in their cars has also increased.
- Nearly 800 kids in Clark County are "couch surfing"--a term to describe school age children who are staying at a friends or relatives' home on a temporary basis until they have permanent shelter.
- The most recent successful program to reduce homelessness in Clark County was the "Rapid Rehousing" program. However, the program currently doesn't have enough resources to come close to meeting the need in Clark County.