The back of Barrett Hamilton’s big white van is filled with tents, tarps, dog food, heaters, hand warmers, toilet paper, gloves, socks, fentanyl test kits, naloxone and coffee.

As the peer outreach supervisor at BestCare Treatment Services, which helps people coping with addiction across the region, the 50-year-old Hamilton understands how to encourage recovery among those suffering in Central Oregon’s overdose crisis. A stout, tattooed, bespectacled man with a raspy voice, he doesn’t lecture people on the dangers of drugs and the values of treatment. And he doesn’t simply provide handouts.

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Bryce Dole is a crime and public safety reporter with The Bulletin. He previously worked as a reporter with the East Oregonian. He grew up in Grants Pass and has lived in Oregon all his life.

(3) comments


Maybe all you proverty pimps, enablers and government supporters should read this:

Another quote from the article:

"We also make it very clear that we don't tolerate encampments along our sidewalks, and we don't tolerate other code violations such as being drunk in public or urinating in public or defecating in public," Bailey said. "We just simply don't tolerate these basic code violations. What ends up happening is an individual either chooses to get help or they end up leaving."

Please take note of the letter after this mayors name.

Long and Variable

Paying survivors like Mr Hamilton to provide these wrap-around services to our homeless seems like a good approach.


I wonder if anyone will compare the benefits and costs of the "Just say no" policies to the current decriminalization attitude? It might be important to compare death rates, incarceration rates, poverty, domestic and child abuse, educational levels, utilization of the physical and mental health care services and dependence on entitlement programs. I get that previously we spent trillions over decades with the "war on drugs" and there are advantages to not saddling people who made a few bad choices with a criminal record, but what is the net benefit or harm with our current approach?

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