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New Transitional Housing Site Opens In Coos Bay

Nancy Devereux Center

For years, the city of Coos Bay has offered scant resources for people experiencing homelessness. Now it hosts a transitional housing site for homeless people to stay while they get back on their feet.

Coalbank Village is named after a nearby body of water. It offers a cluster of 19 tiny shelters — built and designed by the Seattle-based company Pallet — where people can live while looking for long-term housing.

Laura Fitori is a case manager at Coalbank Village. Residents are required to meet with her weekly to help get them a secure income and safe situation.

“What we’re trying to accomplish is we want these individuals to overcome the barriers that are the cause of their homelessness," she said. "We want to get them into permanent stable housing.”

Each Pallet shelter has built-in cots, electricity and a locked door. They are each eight-by-eight feet and can house one person at a time.

Fitori says the goal is to get all Coalbank Village residents into secure housing between three to six months, and then will accept another round of applicants.

“There’s so many individuals out there who are truly struggling and have lost hope," Fitori says. "It’s devastating to the community and to the individuals.”

The Pallet shelters were donated by local nonprofit Oregon Coast Community Action. A handful of local organizations worked together to set up the site, and it was spearheaded by housing nonprofit Nancy Devereux Center.

Fitori says they are filling up the site slowly, but they’re already managing a long waitlist of applicants.