Right to Thrive and Shelter

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People have the right to rest, shelter and accept free food in a non-obstructive manner on public lands, as well as the right to sleep in cars. It should be a civil rights violation for police, the city, private corporations and private security to violate the right to survive in public.

Such expansions of rights are what social movements are made of.


Coos Commons Protection Councils’ mission is to support and empower individuals and communities in order to protect fundamental rights, quality of life, the natural environment, public health, and safety. As part of our recognition that environmental justice and social justice are interlocked we are pleased to be working with well known local social justice advocate Bittin Duggan to provide direct outreach services to the area’s homeless and disenfranchised in order to help them obtain the public services they need.

Bittin DugganBittin Foster Duggan, MA, originator and facilitator of the Growing Through It (GTI) art workshops, is a nationally exhibited artist who currently lives and works in Coos Bay, Oregon. Growing Through It (GTI) provides dignified services based on compassion, equity and respect to disenfranchised Coos County residents so that they may access individual and community services to meet their basic human needs so that they may live a healthier and more productive life to benefit our entire community.

In 1989, while in Egypt, on a trip to the Sinai Desert, she was injured in an auto accident. “I was in a coma for five days,” says Bittin. “When I came out I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what was the matter with me, but I knew that something inside of me was different.”

Bittin’s personal story of healing and ‘growing through it’ make her uniquely qualified to work with the more than 1300 homeless adults and children currently living in Coos County.




CCPC through its GTI program supports sustainable homeless solutions designed to improve the quality of life for marginalized citizens on short and long term practices. The program provides direct services, supplies, materials and transportation to meet basic needs of poor people who live outdoors and those who have fallen through the cracks of our social welfare and family systems.

“Chronic homelessness refers to people who have chronic and complex health conditions, including mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and medical conditions who experience long-term homelessness– and can be found sleeping on the street or in shelters. Without stable housing, they cycle in and out of emergency departments, inpatient hospital stays, psychiatric centers, detoxification programs, and jails, resulting in high public costs and poor health outcomes for individuals including premature death…

“A chronically homeless person costs the tax-payer an average of $35,578 per year. Costs on average are reduced by 49.5% when they are placed in supportive housing. Supportive housing costs on average $12,800, making the net savings of more than $22,000 per year.” – US Department of Housing and Urban Development 2018


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