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Resource Fair connects local homeless population with various resources within Clackamas County

Clackamas Fire recently held a second-annual Resource Fair bringing services to 55 people — many from the local homeless population — at Barclay Park in Oregon City.

PHOTO COURTESY CLACKAMAS FIRE - Community paramedic AmyJo Cook of Clackamas Fire invited Mike Day, the Oregon City Police Department's homeless liaison officer, center, and Dan Hall of American Medical Response to the Feb. 6 Resource Fair at Barclay Park in Oregon City.Clackamas Fire's Community Paramedic AmyJo Cook aimed to bring community resources to citizens who need them the most, next to Father's Heart Street Ministry. She hosted the fair at the location in support the Blueprint for a Healthy Clackamas County 2017-2020, which ranked increasing access to health care and housing resources as top priorities for the county. The fair was made possible in part by funds awarded from the Clackamas County Small Grants Program.

PHOTO COURTESY CLACKAMAS FIRE - Folks line up for various services outside the tent at the Feb. 6 Resource Fair at Barclay Park in Oregon City.Cook invited and coordinated the participation of local officials offering employment, dental care, free flu shots, hepatitis vaccinations, HIV testing/resources, accessories for laundry, assistance with pets, insurance signups, mental health/addiction resources, veteran's outreach, clean/sober housing and access to the Department of Human Services. Mike Day, the Oregon City Police Department's homeless liaison officer, attended the event.

"Bringing the resources to one location helps individuals who are challenged by geography, transportation and finances," Cook said.

PHOTO BY RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Clackamas Fire Community Paramedic Amy Jo Cook applies a bandage to Daniel Knight's arm after giving him a flu shot on Nov. 16.Clackamas Fire donated the use of two large, interconnected tents with heating to provide a safe, warm place for participants to gather and obtain resources. Firefighters set up the tents, tables and chairs, and took them down at the end of the fair.

After participants signed in, they were handed a backpack filled with bottled water, hand warmers, socks and snacks.

"Participants were encouraged to engage in the resources with a card to gather stickers for each of their interactions," Cook said. "At the end of the visit, the cards were turned in for a food card, and a knit hat or gloves."

In support of the blueprint's goal for health equality throughout the county, Cook plans to host Mobile Resource Fairs at various other locations.

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