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Ray Kelso surveyed his small motel room, where a few clothes were piled in a corner and medical supplies and food were sitting on the nightstand, and said it looked messy. In his 19 years of being homeless in The Dalles, he said he liked to keep his campsites neat and tidy. Kelso agreed to talk to the Chronicle about his life on the streets, and his hope—with the help of Mephibosheth Outreach, a local homeless ministry that has paid for his motel room for the last few weeks—to never return to it.

One day about a year ago Todd Mock was jogging along the Columbia River when he felt divinely guided to go toward a pile of big rocks under The Dalles bridge. There, he saw smoke from a warming fire and things strewn about. He ran off to buy a sandwich and came back to the bridge, saying to the pile of rocks: “’I was sent from the Lord. I’ve got a sandwich for you.’”

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An inaugural event to provide services to the homeless drew about 100 people Jan. 30, far exceeding the organizers’ expectations. Called the “Community Connection,” the event was created by The Dalles Housing Solutions Coalition to not only reach the homeless, but those who can help the homeless.

An inaugural event to provide services to the homeless drew about 100 people Jan. 30, far exceeding the organizers’ expectations. Called the “Community Connection,” the event was created by The Dalles Housing Solutions Coalition to not only reach the homeless, but those who can help the homeless.