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I had to read Max Kirkendall's LCSD holds fifth highest homeless student count article twice, and then I asked my wife if the numbers could possibly be true. Seventeen percent, nearly one out of five Lincoln City students are homeless and one hundred and sixty-nine children, babies to age five, are also homeless.

We live in a city where blocks of houses on the west side of Highway 101 are either vacation rental properties or investment properties that year after year sit vacant. Also, this is a region that grows big beautiful trees - trees that could more than adequately meet the need for small homes for the city's workers, but instead, Georgia Pacific turns many of those trees into toilet paper and cardboard boxes for export.

If Lincoln City is going to remain dependent on a pliant working class that earns between $11 and $15 an hour, then at some point the city and the state are going to have to address the region's acute housing crisis. Markets work great for toothpaste, clothing, auto parts and the before mentioned toilet paper, but when it comes to providing suitable, affordable housing for the working class, the capitalist market is failing miserably.


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