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In the past 2 years, the face of Cave Junction (and other small towns in Josephine County) has changed drastically. Many restaurants, gift shops, auto repair shops, salons and other small businesses have gone out of business. Residential and commercial developments went into foreclosure. Horses and other livestock have been sold, given away or abandoned, giving rise to increased demand for animal rescue facilities.
People have been struggling to find food, shelter, transportation and other basic necessities from community services. More residents are growing produce, raising chickens and goats and trading with neighbors for food items. People are doing skill trades too. Since cash is less available due to income losses, the barter system is flourishing in Josephine County.
More people than ever are now on food stamps, energy assistance and other state assistance programs, keeping the local DHS office swamped with applicants.
It's gotten really tough for everyone. Many of us who retired here from other states are struggling with less income and higher costs. Some of us have been lucky enough to find part time jobs through Experience Works or on our own, just to help make ends meet.
Most of us don't have health, dental or vision coverage and so we have done without health care. Some have qualified for "sliding scale" discounted prices at the Siskiyou Community Health Center in Cave Junction. Those with children have gotten on the Oregon Health Plan, but everyone is struggling to have health care needs met.
We have the best climate, many recreational places, and a beautiful region in the Siskiyou Mountains. We have vineyards anbd wineries, the Oregon Caves and rivers for fishing and boating. But it's a remote rural place, far from airports, malls, interstates and high traffic business centers.
Many people have gotten creative as entrepreneurs, selling produce, wild mushrooms, doing care giving, working in the service industries through agencies or on their own, starting computer services, and whatever else residents seem to need.
Why doesn't the state of Oregon value & support the Illinois Valley and Josephine County as highly as other regions of the state? It's got as much or more to recommend it for natural beauty and great weather!
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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