In the community

With no shelters in town, homeless residents are left to brave the cold

Harsh winters compound the challenges of living outdoors for homeless residents like Steve Richardson. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)

ONTARIO – A raw wind rattled the leaves across the parking lot and dark clouds lingered low above Ontario.

Billy Vance, homeless for nine years, found comfort inside a local convenience market, Mallard Grocery. He was buying a Little Debbie cherry fruit pie.

Vance was cold and hungry, and the corner store was one of the few places in town that welcomes people like him, exchanging labor for food. 

For hundreds of homeless men, women and children in Malheur County, winter is a challenging season.

And this year, it is more challenging than most. The community once again has no shelter for homeless to sleep or even take a bath. Those living on the streets can get at . . .