People living in Josephine and Douglas County are resourceful, independent-minded, and make the most with what they have. But many local residents face difficult challenges, and UCAN works with them so that they can best help themselves. We help:
- Families and children-Many of those who access our services are families with children. Many children and local families are eligible for all of our services, as the local child poverty rate is near 30%. Our programs also help some families and children who are living above the federal poverty level.
- Seniors-The region we serve has a much higher percentage of seniors than found in the rest of Oregon. About 30% of those living in our region are ages 60+. Although the region does have seniors who have managed to retire with sufficient assets, many more have not been so fortunate. A large number of seniors living in the region formerly worked in timber or fishing industries, and lost their jobs as these industries contracted. Many of those laid off were unable to find work paying anywhere near the salaries they formerly earned, and now live on fixed incomes. Some of our programs specifically help these seniors, such as Money Management and Senior Companions.
- Veterans-The region also has a higher percentage of veterans than found in the rest of the state. About 15% of adults living in our region have served our country in some capacity. As with seniors, a number of veterans have done fine and live stable lives. But some veterans have struggled, and may have special needs or resources related to their service. We currently operate a regional program for veterans who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness.
- People with physical/mental disabilities-Approximately 20% of those living in our service area have a disability, far in excess of the statewide percentage. While some people living with disabilities can manage financially, many cannot. We help those with disabilities, including providing affordable housing targeted for people living with specific disabilities.
- Ex-offenders-Most individuals who have formerly been incarcerated struggle to find housing and jobs needed to live stably once released from prison. Without help to meet their basic needs, it is more likely that they will return to the prison system. A number of UCAN programs help those leaving prison stabilize their lives. For example, we operate some affordable housing specifically designed to meet the needs of this population.
Though there are major efforts to invigorate the economy of our two-county region, the region is still struggling to cope with major losses in the natural resource sector of the economy. The local unemployment rates are consistently among the highest in Oregon, and the median income are among the lowest in the state. Smaller communities located far from Roseburg and Grants Pass, the region's two county seats, have been particularly hard hit. Many of these communities have few economic prospects to replace the logging, timber, manufacturing and fishing jobs once prevalent in the area. With a two-county area larger than the State of Connecticut, outlying communities can be as far as a one hour drive from the county seats. UCAN helps to bolster these distressed communities in a number of ways, from providing affordable housing in outlying communities like Drain and Canyonville, Oregon, to providing Early Head Start services in Glendale and Yoncalla, Oregon, to offering housing and homeless services to families living in Cave Junction, Oregon.
The Partners With Whom We Work
Because we work with so many residents in the region, we play an important role supporting the local, social service system. We work together with a multitude of agencies to coordinate our services and strategically address local issues. We work with:
- Government agencies, ranging from state agencies such as the Oregon Department of Human Services, to regional agencies like the South-Central Oregon Early Learning Hub, to local agencies like the Josephine and Douglas County Parole and Probation Offices.
- Non-profit agencies, including those providing similar services, such as affordable housing, to those providing complementary services, such as battered women's shelters and alcohol and drug treatment centers.
- Local coalitions, such as local housing and homeless coalitions and local continuum of care.