EDITORIAL: Help needs to continue for homeless

At the end of this week, an organization caring for Malheur County’s neediest goes away. Harvest House, a nonprofit at work since 2003, has decided to close up. But that doesn’t mean the people it serves disappear along with the organization.

Harvest House didn’t run out of customers. It ran out of money. The board decided the prospects were daunting for putting more cash in the tank to keep going. Board members get credit for facing reality and making a hard choice.

In recent times, Harvest House served about 150 people a month, many of them homeless. The Ontario charity provided food, helped with housing, and connected people with health care. For area police agencies, this service has been vital as a place to steer or even deliver people in dire need.

The cost of continuing what Harvest House has provided is about $3,000 a month. Service to a single person costs about $25 a month. A month. Think about that. Twenty-five dollars a month to help some poor soul survive another 30 days.

Three groups have banded together to do what they can to keep those services going. The groups are Project DOVE, Community in Action and the Oregon Food Bank. They each have their own missions and their own established service to the community. That they are willing to help even more is heartening.

How long and in what form they can carry on will depend on the rest of us. The quickest way to help is to write a check. Tax-deductible donations can be made with a check to Project DOVE, noting on the memo line “Harvest House.” Donations can be mailed to Project DOVE, PO Box 980, Ontario OR 97914. Remember, a check for just $25 cares for an individual for an entire month. And you can also volunteer, helping with meals and other services. A call to Project DOVE will get your name on the list.

We’ve heard some question this service, that it gives community resources to homeless people drifting through. Most of those who need the help, though, are from here in Malheur County. Charity in any event shouldn’t be limited by zip code. As has been shown time and time again, the people of Malheur County are generous and caring. With the approach of the new year and this new need, let’s show that once again. – LZ