Dozens attend social-service fair at Barclay Park in Oregon City
Dozens of people crossed the street from the local homeless shelter in the first hour of Clackamas Fire's three-hour inaugural Resource Fair on Thursday, Nov. 16, at Barclay Park in Oregon City.
Main event organizers saw the event as a success in bringing community resources to citizens who need them the most next to Father's Heart Street Ministry.
Daniel Knight, 41, said he found out about the event from a flyer at Father's Heart and has been homeless for more than a year.
"Soon before I started having to live on the street, I was trying to work while being injured and I got hooked on pills without even knowing it," Knight said.
A former wildland firefighter, iron worker and construction flagger, Knight said after attending the Resource Fair that he wanted to go back to school for a vocational degree. Having been sober for four and a half months, he appreciated the support of achieving his dreams from Mike Day, the Oregon City Police Department's homeless liaison officer.
"Its time to do something that I can depend on and take care of myself," Knight said. "I want to show my son that it can be done."
Main organizers of the Resource Fair included Day and Community Paramedics Amy Jo Cook of Clackamas Fire and Dan Hall of American Medical Response. They sought to connect the local homeless population with various resources within Clackamas County. Clackamas County officials attending the Resource Fair offered housing programs, addiction services, mental health, physical health and employment resources through the county's Community Corrections Resource Center and its department of Health, Housing and Human Services. Friends Involved with Dog Outreach (FIDO) had a booth explaining the local programs for veterans and seniors to receive more than 200,000 meals annually for their cats and dogs, often delivered along with the Meals-on-Wheels program. The Founder's Clinic offered free medical insurance, and the Cascade AIDS Project was informing attendees about a new pill that reduces risk of HIV transmission by 99 percent.
Oregon City-based representatives of M Seed spoke with attendees about how the thrift store at 124A Molalla Ave. benefits the nonprofit's faith-based programs for people with life-altering addictions.
"There are a lot of resources out here, and they're getting better and better at putting it all together," said Oregon City Municipal Judge Laraine McNiece after touring the heated pop-up tent.