Student asks lawmakers to help pay for Salem shelter

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem high school student has asked Oregon lawmakers to help him open a shelter for homeless youth.

The Statesman Journal reports that McKay High senior Raul Marquez said in a letter that he has raised about $125,000 for a shelter in the capital city, and needs another $275,000.

Marquez noted the death of a homeless girl named Taylor, who he says died on the streets of Salem because she didn’t have a warm place to sleep.

Jon Reeves, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, confirmed that a girl named Taylor died, but declined to say what caused her death.

Marquez addressed his letter to Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and Rep. Nancy Nathanson, D-Eugene. They co-chair the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.

The shelter’s proposed site is a former center for at-risk Latino youth that’s now up for sale.