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Homeless man being evicted from camp


homelessness isn’t about homes, or policy, or drugs, or financial stability. homelessness is about people: their stories, their life experiences, their wounds. homelessness isn’t a problem to be solved, it’s about stopping to ask, “what happened to you?” and “who are you?” 

homelessness is a complex issue; it’s nuanced, fluid, multifaceted – homelessness exists in the gray, far from a world of black and white. the factors contributing to and sustaining homelessness are numerous and individualized; there is not one set of answers or solutions. 

any solution to this “problem” must start with an appeal to empathy, a receptive mind, and a willingness to concede that preconceived notions of this community may be wrongly prescribed. 


the nameless project takes an individualized approach to addressing problems. by sharing the stories of individuals in marginalized communities, we believe the community as a whole can grow in their understanding of one another. it starts with one person; it starts with one name. 


homeless individuals on any given night 

this is a big problem.

numbers can be misleading – or in some cases outright incorrect. in the case of counting our neighbors living on the streets, the Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires Continuums of Care (CoCs) to submit a count of homeless individuals and their demographics for that CoC’s service area. this Point in Time Count (PIT) takes place every other year with CoCs choosing one day out of the last 10 days of January to conduct the count for their region. 


unfortunately, given the nature and structure of these counts, estimates place the accuracy of the counts anywhere between 10%-50%. despite questionable margins of error, the numbers associated with the PIT are used to allocate federal and private grand dollars to organizations and CoCs across the nation. 


by all accounts, these are the best numbers we have and these numbers a plenty helpful when analyzing trends over time. yet the truth remains, the numbers do not matter when compared to the lives of the individuals they attempt to count.  


States in RED have over 13,000 individuals experiencing homelessness at any given time

Graphic of the united states and problem states for homelessness

CALIFORNIA - 161,548 ||  TEXAS - 27,229  ||  NEW YORK - 91, 271  ||  WASHINGTON - 22,923  ||  FLORIDA - 27,487  ||  MASSACHUSETTS - 17,975  ||  OREGON - 14,655   


people > data

We don't need more information, we need more


since 2007, the rates of homelessness across the US have decreased by 10.3%. however, since 2016, the country has seen a steady and seemingly uncharacteristic increase in unsheltered and chronically homeless individuals. why are the rates of homelessness going down yet the rates of unsheltered and chronically homeless continue to rise? the people represented by these statistics are simply that: they are people. as easy as it is to blame the problem on addiction, immigration, inflation, zoning, policy, or a host of other causalities, the issue truly boils down to a lack connection and understanding at a basic human level. we don't need more information, we need more interaction. 

the data we have tends to suggest that the problems we face with homelessness cannot be solved with blanket policies or more beds in shelters. factors such as service trauma, services resistance, immigration status, outstanding warrants, mental illness, lack of transitional housing, and a cornucopia of systemic issues compound in overwhelming force to keep some of our neighbors living on the streets. these are barriers that must be navigated on a case-by-case basis. 

for an in-depth look at the individualistic nature of chronic homelessness, consider reading the The New Yorker article Million- Dollar Murray.

Homeless woman showing a photo album of her kids.

wallace marine park is the largest homeless encampment in the state of oregon. 

in total, the area of the wallace that is utilized by our unsheltered neighbors is 100+ acres of forested land along the willimatte river. having been a homeless encampment since the 60s, wallace is home to hundreds of our unsheltered neighbors some of whom have lived at wallace continuously for over a decade. 

conditions at wallace are brutal. if you think you need to travel half way across the globe to encounter third-world conditions, you're mistaken; they're in your backyard.

meet Bobby. Bobby has lived out in wallace since 2006

not what you think.

what does it look like on the streets?

Homeless man peering head out of tent.

are numbers even important?

the answer is complicated.

Two numbers in particular are telling when looked at over time:

chronically homeless and unsheltered homeless people. 

Graphic of homelessness
Graphic showing increase in homelessness

We talk a lot about meeting physical needs, but our neighbors on the streets true desire is someone who is willing to




homeless individuals


people spent last night sleeping without a permeant home.

homeless youth


youth under 24 were homeless last night. 

unsheltered homeless


close to half of the homeless population in the US are unsheltered sleeping in locations "not suitable for human habitation."

chronic homeless

1 in 5

over 20% of the homeless population is designated chronically homeless meaning they have been "continuously homeless for one year or more or have experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last three years."


hear her story.

Nerissa lives at wallace marine park.

this is (part of) her story.



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