Outside In wants to send our heart-felt condolences to the friends and loved ones of the 193 people who lost their lives while homeless on our streets. Every day we see first-hand how homelessness impacts the health and hearts of people who live outside and who come through our doors. We stand committed to be in service to our community with the hope that these trends can change. Thank you to Street Roots and the Multnomah County Health Department for compiling this very important and heartbreaking report. You can read the full report here.
Outside In’s Drug Users Health Services Program Manager, Haven Wheelock, spoke at a press conference this week to shed light on the tragically high percentage of deaths caused by overdose among those experiencing homelessness in 2021.
“I don’t think anyone was really prepared for how quickly and sustained the changes in our drug supply have been,” Wheelock said. “I’ve been doing work with this community for nearly two decades and I’ve never ever seen our drug supply change, the way people are using substances change, as quickly as we’ve seen in the last few years.”
– Haven Wheelock in an article from OPB
Although these changes are alarming and challenging to address, information from the Domicile Unknown report supported by the invaluable perspectives of those who work directly alongside our most impacted community members can help us to better understand how we can work together to mitigate unnecessary death from overdose and other preventable causes in our community going forward. For now, we mourn and honor those whose lives were lost as we continue to fight for increased access to healthcare, housing, and harm reduction resources.